GLYCINE Overview Information
Glycine is an amino acid, a building block for protein. It is not considered an "essential amino acid" because the body can make it from other chemicals. A typical diet contains about 2 grams of glycine daily. The primary sources are protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, and legumes.
Glycine is used for treating schizophrenia, stroke, sleep problems, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), metabolic syndrome, and some rare inherited metabolic disorders. It is also used to protect kidneys from the harmful side effects of certain drugs used after organ transplantation as well as the liver from harmful effects of alcohol. Glycine may also be used to reduce the risk of psychosis. Other uses include cancer prevention and memory enhancement.
Some people apply glycine directly to the skin to treat leg ulcers and heal other wounds.
How does it work?
The body uses glycine to make proteins. Glycine is also involved in the transmission of chemical signals in the brain, so there is interest in trying it for schizophrenia and improving memory. Some researchers think glycine may have a role in cancer prevention because it seems to interfere with the blood supply needed by certain tumors.
Possibly Effective for:
- Leg ulcers. Applying cream containing glycine and other amino acids seems to reduce pain and slightly improve the healing of leg ulcers.
- Schizophrenia. Taking glycine by mouth along with conventional medicines seems to reduce negative symptoms of schizophrenia in some people who don't respond to treatment with conventional medicines alone.
- Treating the most common form of stroke (ischemic stroke). Putting glycine under the tongue may help to limit brain damage caused by an ischemic stroke when started within 6 hours of having the stroke. An ischemic stroke is caused by the blockage of a blood vessel (usually by a clot) in the brain. Brain cells beyond the obstruction don't receive oxygen and begin to die, causing irreversible damage.
- 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (3-PGDH) deficiency. 3-PGDH deficiency is a rare condition in which serine is not synthesized properly. Taking glycine by mouth might reduce seizures in people with this condition.
- Mental performance. Early research shows that taking glycine by mouth might improve memory and mental performance.
- Isovaleric acidemia. Isovaleric acidemia is a rare condition in which certain amino acids are not processed properly by the body. Taking glycine by mouth along with L-carnitine might help treat this condition.
- Sleep quality. Taking glycine before bedtime for 2-4 days seems to improve sleep in people with poor sleep quality. Taking glycine before bedtime might also reduce feelings of tiredness the following day after a shortened night of sleep. But it doesn't seem to prevent tiredness after several shortened nights of sleep.
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
- Cancer prevention.
- Liver protection.
- Other conditions.
GLYCINE Side Effects & Safety
Glycine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Most people do not experience side effects, although there have been a few reports of gastrointestinal side effects such as soft stools, nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of glycine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Clozapine (Clozaril) interacts with GLYCINE
Clozapine (Clozaril) is used to help treat schizophrenia. Taking glycine along with clozapine (Clozaril) might decrease the effectiveness of clozapine (Clozaril). It is not clear why this interaction occurs yet. Do not take glycine if you are taking clozapine (Clozaril).
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For schizophrenia: Glycine has been used in doses ranging from 0.4-0.8 grams/kg daily in divided doses. It is usually started at 4 grams daily and increased by 4 grams per day until the effective dose is reached.
- For treating the most common form of stroke (ischemic stroke): 1 to 2 grams per day started within 6 hours after stroke onset has been used.
- For leg ulcers: A cream containing 10 mg of glycine, 2 mg of L-cysteine, and 1 mg of DL-threonine per gram of cream has been used. The cream was applied at each wound cleaning and dressing change once daily, every other day, or twice daily.