Glycine Overview

Glycine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein. It’s also a neurotransmitter, helping to send messages between nerve cells. Glycine is found in high concentrations in the skin and connective tissues.

Glycine is considered a “non-essential” amino acid, because the body can make it from other nutrients. However, glycine is important for many bodily functions.

Glycine has a sweet taste and is used as a sweetener in some foods and drinks. It’s also used in medicine and supplements.

Glycine Benefits

Glycine is important for the body to create proteins. It’s also involved in the release of energy from glucose, and it helps regulate blood sugar levels. Glycine also plays a role in the nervous system, helping to send messages between nerve cells.

Some people take glycine supplements for various health reasons. Some evidence suggests that glycine may help with the following health conditions:

schizophrenia

stroke

sleep problems

memory and thinking problems related to aging

Leg cramps during pregnancy (pregnant women should not take glycine supplements without their healthcare provider’s approval)

However, there is little scientific evidence to support these uses. More research is needed. Glycine supplements are generally considered safe when taken as directed. Side effects may include upset stomach, bloating, and diarrhea. Glycine is also available in a topical form to be applied to the skin. This form is used to treat wounds and burns.

Uses

Some people take glycine supplements for improving sleep quality, reducing stress, and boosting cognitive function. Others use it to speed wound healing or relieve joint pain.

There is some scientific evidence to support these uses, but more research is needed. Glycine is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses for a short period of time. However, side effects are possible, and it can interact with certain medications.

Glycine Supplements

Glycine supplements are available in powder, capsule, and tablet form. You can also find glycine in some foods, such as bone broth, yogurt, miso soup, and Parmesan cheese.

The recommended dose of glycine depends on the reason you are taking it. For example, the typical dose for improving sleep quality is 3 grams before bedtime. For relieving joint pain, the recommended dose is 2–5 grams per day.

Possible Side Effects and Interactions

Glycine is generally considered safe when taken orally in recommended doses for a short period of time. Possible side effects include nausea and an upset stomach. Glycine can also cause drowsiness.

Glycine may interact with certain medications, such as antipsychotics and levodopa. If you take any medications, talk to your healthcare provider before taking glycine supplements.

To avoid potential side effects and interactions, only take glycine supplements under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Precautions

Glycine is considered safe for most people when taken in recommended doses for a short period of time. However, it’s best to talk to a healthcare provider before taking glycine supplements if you have any health conditions or take any medications.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid taking glycine supplements. There is not enough scientific evidence to know if glycine is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Conclusion

Glycine is an amino acid that plays a role in protein synthesis and neurotransmission. Some people take glycine supplements for improving sleep quality, reducing stress, and boosting cognitive function. Glycine is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses for a short period of time. However, side effects are possible, and it can interact with certain medications. Only take glycine supplements under the supervision of a healthcare provider to avoid potential side effects and interactions.