GLYCINE

OTHER NAME(S):

Acide Aminoacétique, Acide Amino-Acétique, Aminoacetic Acid, Athenon, Free Base Glycine, G Salt, Glicina, Glycine de Base Libre, Glycocoll, Glycosthene, Iconyl, L-Glycine, Monazol.<br/><br/>

Overview

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.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

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.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of glycine for these uses.

Side Effects

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.

Interactions

Interactions?

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).

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • 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.
UNDER THE TONGUE:
  • 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.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • 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.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Bannai M, Kawai N, Ono K, Nakahara K, Murakami N. The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers. Front Neurol. 2012 Apr 18;3:61. View abstract.
  • Bannai M, Kawai N. New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep. J Pharmacol Sci. 2012;118(2):145-8. View abstract.
  • de Koning TJ, Duran M, Dorland L, et al. Beneficial effects of L-serine and glycine in the management of seizures in 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase deficiency. Ann Neurol 1998;44:261-5.. View abstract.
  • Díaz-Flores M, Cruz M, Duran-Reyes G, Munguia-Miranda C, Loza-Rodríguez H, Pulido-Casas E, Torres-Ramírez N, Gaja-Rodriguez O, Kumate J, Baiza-Gutman LA, Hernández-Saavedra D. Oral supplementation with glycine reduces oxidative stress in patients with metabolic syndrome, improving their systolic blood pressure. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Oct;91(10):855-60. View abstract.
  • Evins AE, Fitzgerald SM, Wine L, et al. Placebo-controlled trial of glycine added to clozapine in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 2000;157:826-8.. View abstract.
  • File SE, Fluck E, Fernandes C. Beneficial effects of glycine (bioglycin) on memory and attention in young and middle-aged adults. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1999;19:506-12. . View abstract.
  • Fries MH, Rinaldo P, Schmidt-Sommerfeld E, et al. Isovaleric acidemia: response to a leucine load after three weeks of supplementation with glycine, L-carnitine, and combined glycine-carnitine therapy. J Pediatr 1996;129:449-52.. View abstract.
  • Gusev EI, Skvortsova VI, Dambinova SA, et al. Neuroprotective effects of glycine for therapy of acute ischaemic stroke. Cerebrovasc Dis 2000;10:49-60. View abstract.
  • Harvey SG, Gibson JR, Burke CA. L-cysteine, glycine and dl-threonine in the treatment of hypostatic leg ulceration: a placebo-controlled study. Pharmatherapeutica 1985;4:227-30.. View abstract.
  • Heresco-Levy U, Javitt DC, Ermilov M, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of glycine adjuvant therapy for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry 1996;169:610-7.. View abstract.
  • Heresco-Levy U, Javitt DC, Ermilov M, et al. Efficacy of high-dose glycine in the treatment of enduring negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999;56:29-36.. View abstract.
  • Inagawa K, Hiraoka T, Kohda T, Yamadera W, Takahashi M. Subjective effects of glycine ingestion before bedtime on sleep quality. Sleep and Biological Rhythms. 2006; 4:75-77.
  • Inagawa K, Kawai N, Ono K, Sukegawa E, Tsubuku S, Takahashi M. Assessment of acute adverse effects of glycine ingestion at a high dose in human volunteers. Seikatsu Eisei. 2006; 50:27-32.
  • Javitt DC, Balla A, Sershen H, Lajtha A. A.E. Bennett Research Award. Reversal of phencyclidine-induced effects by glycine and glycine transport inhibitors. Biol Psychiatry 1999;45:668-79.. View abstract.
  • Javitt DC, Zylberman I, Zukin SR, et al. Amelioration of negative symptoms in schizophrenia by glycine. Am J Psychiatry 1994;151:1234-6.. View abstract.
  • Potkin SG, Jin Y, Bunney BG, Costa J, Gulasekaram B. Effect of clozapine and adjunctive high-dose glycine in treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 1999;156:145-7.. View abstract.
  • Rose ML, Cattley RC, Dunn C, et al. Dietary glycine prevents the development of liver tumors caused by the peroxisome proliferator WY-14,643. Carcinogenesis 1999;20:2075-81.. View abstract.
  • Rose ML, Madren J, Bunzendahl H, Thurman RG. Dietary glycine inhibits the growth of B16 melanoma tumors in mice. Carcinogenesis 1999;20:793-8.. View abstract.
  • Thurman RG, Zhong Z, von Frankenberg M, et al. Prevention of cyclosporine-induced nephrotoxicity with dietary glycine. Transplantation 1997;63:1661-7.. View abstract.
  • Woods SW, Walsh BC, Hawkins KA, Miller TJ, Saksa JR, D'Souza DC, Pearlson GD, Javitt DC, McGlashan TH, Krystal JH. Glycine treatment of the risk syndrome for psychosis: report of two pilot studies. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Aug;23(8):931-40. View abstract.
  • Yamadera W, Inagawa K, Chiba S, Bannai M, Takahashi M, Nakayama K. Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes. Sleep and Biological Rhythms. 2007; 5:126-131.
  • Yin M, Ikejima K, Arteel GE, Seabra V, et al. Glycine accelerates recovery from alcohol-induced liver injury. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1998;286:1014-9.. View abstract.
  • Zhong Z, Arteel GE, Connor HD, et al. Cyclosporin A increases hypoxia and free radical production in rat kidneys: prevention by dietary glycine. Am J Physiol 1998;275:F595-604.. View abstract.

More Resources for GLYCINE

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