Glycine is an important anti-aging amino acid. Approximately one third of collagen is comprised of glycine. Collagen is the essential protein which the body uses to keep connective tissues and skin flexible and firm. In the absence of glycine, the body cannot repair damaged tissues.
Additionally research has shown that this amino acid helps to protect the body against shock as a result of blood loss. It also helps to prevent free radical formation and hypoxia.
This amino acid can be methylated into dimethylglycine (DMG). DMG plays an important role in the one-carbon pathway which is essential for the biosynthesis of steroids such as estrogenic and androgenic hormones. This amino acid also helps to stimulate the secretion of human growth hormone.
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Preliminary studies have shown that this amino acid may have a role to play in the treatment of certain cancers. This includes preventing the formation of cancerous melanoma. Results from a study on mice found that dietary glycine inhibited angiogenesis, stopping the growth of tumours .
This is uncommon. However, this type of deficiency can occur in individuals that are malnourished or have diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Individuals that have digestive disorders or suffer from fatigue or low energy levels may also have inadequate concentrations of this amino acid.
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Although the body can manufacture glycine, this amino acid can also be sourced from many high-protein foods. In particular, fish, meat and dairy are rich sources of glycine.
Vegetarian sources include soybeans, spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, pumpkin, banana, kiwi fruit, cucumber and beans.
You can also find glycine supplements in the form of powders or capsules. These can be helpful in medical conditions such as prostate problems, poor memory, stroke and schizophrenia. Other supplements containing glycine are available to help treat chronic fatigue syndrome, anaemia and hypoglycaemia. These supplements can help to boost energy levels and general well-being.
Wider uses of glycine
You may come across this amino acid in food and beverage products as a taste enhancer and sweetener. It is also used as an additive in animal feed, a buffering agent in cosmetics, antacids, irrigation solutions and in agricultural fertilizers. Many commercial applications use a synthetic version of this amino acid produced by using ammonia to treat chloroacetic acid.
found within human proteins, it is not surprising that this simple compound has so many functions with the body. This amino acid is particularly important in maintaining healthy digestive and nervous systems.
It is also important in the production of human growth hormones and creatine. As a result, this amino acid has become valuable for athletes wanting to build muscle mass and strength.
It also has positive applications for individuals suffering from neurobehavioral disorders, diabetes, chronic fatigue and certain cancers. As more research and clinical trials are conducted, it is likely that this amino acid will continue to play an important role in the treatment of a range of medical conditions. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet will help to support the body and supplement internal glycine biosynthesis.