Glycine: Uses, Risk And Food Sources

Knowing what foods are high in glycine will help you choose right and get this important amino acid in your diet. Read on to find out more about this glycine compound.

Foods rich in glycine

Not many people are aware of glycine, a nonessential amino acid. But the body makes use of it every day. In fact, you can’t live without this amino acid. It carries out several important functions. The reason why it is classified as nonessential is that the body is unable to produce it by itself. This means you will need to know what foods are high in glycine if you will consciously seek out this amino acid. However, for most of us, our daily diet gives us a good dose of amino acid but for some, they might need its supplement.

Glycine is known as a protein’s building block just like other amino acids. It assists the body in breaking down and transporting fats and nutrients through the cells to get energy. Glycine also assists in protein creation especially collagen which is needed by the body to maintain tissues and produce hormones and enzymes. Glycine is important for building muscle mass and forming flexible, stretchy cartilage which the body needs. This amino acid is also known to heal joints and help cognitive function. It is said to also carry out some vital roles in preventing mental disorders and giving quality sleep.

What Foods Are High In Glycine

Here are the names of foods where you can naturally source glycine from

1. Gelatin powder – Cooked collagen is referred to as glycine. Protein makes up the most of it and it has a unique profile that grants it several health benefits. This gelatin is used in making homemade ice cream, Jell-O, whipped cream, gummies, etc. Glycine is found in a rich amount of gelatin.

2. Bone broth – This serves as one of the best collagen sources. Two tbsp of collagen added to your meal will give you about 3gm of glycine.

3. Poultry skin – You will be surprised to know that your turkey or chicken skin has valuable glycine. The skin of chicken has roughly about 3.3gms of glycine for 3.5 ounces.

4. Seafood – Amongst the food high in glycine are seafood like catfish, clams, carp, sturgeon, wild salmon, and mollusks. This fish makes up an essential protein source with even greater satiety than other animal sources like chicken and beef.

5. Meat – There are animal proteins like muscle meat that contains glycine. However, you will find the glycine situated mostly in the connective tissues, ligaments, bones, cartilage, skin, and tendons. In the past, these animal parts were consumed with the meat but now they are often separated and tagged low-quality. Notwithstanding, lean lamb and beef contain about 2g of glycine with every 3.5 ounces.

6. Legumes – Products of legumes and legumes are good glycine sources. The example includes peanuts, peanut butter, tofu, peas, mungo, lentils, kidney beans, and soybeans.

7. Dairy products – Products like milk, cheese, and yogurt contain glycine. The popular recommendation of taking warm milk before sleeping at night is so that the glycine content of the ilk can improve and facilitate sleep.

8. Spinach – Spinach is filled with nutrients and vitamins – magnesium, copper, vitamin A, E, K B1, B6, folate, iron, manganese, and potassium. It also provides pretty good glycine.

9. Dried seaweed – Dried seaweed is used as a traditional food in Japan, China, and Korea. It is also popular in America. Seaweed is a great antioxidant source and finer too which helps support gut heat. They also contain glycine and iodine.

10. Watercress – This stable ancient great is a popular diet for Roman soldiers. They are great sources of magnesium, calcium, vitamins A, C, K, and glycine too. 

11. Cabbage – This food is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant cruciferous vegetable. It contains minerals, amino acids, and vitamins. It offers support to your digestive tract. It also enhances cardiovascular health.

12. Asparagus – Some consider this food to be the healthiest In the world. It provides vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, A, C, E, selenium, copper, folate, zinc, manganese, protein, iron, and fiber. It also has plenty of amino acids like glycine.

Glycine Uses

Glycine is found well in proteins and enzymes making them beneficial to different parts of your body. Glycine promotes the growth of muscle and reduces cartilage loss especially as you get older. These benefits include:

  • Joint health
  • Improves mental health
  • Helps build a mass of muscle
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps in regulating the level of blood sugar
  • It is used to produce glutathione – a potent antioxidant
  • Helps build gastrointestinal tract lining
  • May protects the liver from alcohol damage
  • Reduces cancer risk
  • Protects the skin against aging signs
  • Helps fight fatigue and gives more energy
  • Reduce levels of homo-cysteine after protein-rich meals
  • Fights anxiety and stress effects

Side Effects

Glycine supplements are considered to be generally safe when taken with direction. The possibility of side effects are rare but may still happen. These side effects include mild gastrointestinal disturbance like nausea, vomiting, loose stools, or upset stomach.

People using antipsychotic drug clozapine (Clozaril). Glycine decreases clozapine effectiveness.

Glycine Dosage

There are different formulations of glycine with the oral caps being the popular one. You can get the range of 500-1000mg doses. Asides from the oral caps there are formulations in powdered forms that can be added to your smoothies or shakes.

No guidelines for prescriptions are available for glycine but experts recommend that schizophrenia patients take 0.4gms per kg of body weight when using antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal and Zyprexa. Topical creams with L-cysteine, DL-threonine, and glycine amino acids. The skin condition will determine the prescription whether once, twice, or thrice daily.

If you are considering supplementing glycine you should consult your doctor on the best choice and for directions on how to take the supplements properly. You also need to be aware of possible risks.

It is good to look out for approved and tested brands, especially those with certification from authorities like ConsumerLab, NSF international and United States Pharmacopeia. Do not use damaged or expired or discolored supplements.

Whatever is the reason for your using glycine whether it is for glycine anti-aging effects or the muscle impact, make sure you are doing it the right way. Always go for the best glycine supplements to get maximum effects.

Foods rich in glycine

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