What is Glycine? How Does It Help Me Sleep ?

Glycine is a non-essential amino acid and the simplest of the 20 amino acids used by cells to synthesize proteins. It can be found in high concentrations in many high-protein foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products, and also can be produced by the body.

It plays a key role in many biological processes including the metabolism of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and sleep.  Glycine can act as a neurotransmitter itself, and it also acts as an inhibitory modulator of the NMDA receptor, which is involved in the regulation of serotonin release. Additionally, glycine can be converted into serine, which is a precursor to the synthesis of serotonin. 

It is composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms and can be found in a variety of proteins and enzymes.  It has the formula NH2-CH2-COOH. It is a small, non-polar amino acid, meaning it is relatively hydrophobic and does not have a charge at neutral pH.  Glycine consists of a single carbon molecule attached to an amino and a carboxyl group. Its small size helps it to function as a flexible link in proteins and allows for the formation of helices, an extracellular signaling molecule, recognition sites on cell membranes and enzymes, a modifier of molecular activity via conjugation and glycine extension of hormone precursors, and an osmoprotectant. There is substantial experimental evidence that free glycine may have a role in protecting tissues against ailments such as ischemia, hypoxia, and reperfusion. 

Additionally Glycine serves as the basis for many metabolic pathways, is essential for proper growth and development, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Its versatile nature makes it an important component of health and wellness.  Glycine has various functions in the body, including acting as a neurotransmitter, helping form collagen and muscle tissue, and aiding in the metabolism of other molecules such as hemoglobin and porphyrins. Additionally, glycine is used in the production of creatine, a compound used by muscles for energy and as a dietary supplement.

Studied for its potential to boost melatonin production in the body. Many studies have suggested that it can help increase melatonin levels and improve sleep quality. In this article, we’ll explore the evidence behind glycine’s effects on melatonin production, as well as how it can be used to improve sleep quality.

What foods contain Glycine? 

Glycine can be found in a variety of foods and supplements. Some dietary sources of glycine include:

  • Meat and fish: These are high in protein and therefore a good source of glycine.
  • Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt also contain glycine.
  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are also good sources of glycine.
  • Gelatin: Gelatin is made from collagen, which is rich in glycine.
  • Some fruits and vegetables: Some fruits and vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, and banana contain small amounts of glycine.

Additionally, glycine supplements are also available in the form of powders, capsules, or tablets and can be easily found in health food stores or online. It’s important to note that the amount of glycine can vary greatly depending on the source. Some people may consider taking supplements to increase their glycine intake

Research On Glycine 

There have been a number of studies on the potential benefits of glycine. Some of the most notable include:

  • Sleep: Glycine has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep in people with insomnia.
  • Cognition: Glycine has been found to improve memory, attention, and other cognitive functions in healthy individuals and those with schizophrenia.
  • Pain: Glycine has been found to have pain-relieving properties and may be useful for treating conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
  • Metabolism: Glycine may help regulate glucose metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity, which may be beneficial for people with diabetes or other metabolic disorders.

Review: Glycine

Glycine: a new anti inflammatory immunonutirent 

Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review

Glycine improves quality of sleep 

The Glycine Story 

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