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.

Overview

Overview Information

Glycine is an amino acid, or a building block for protein. The body can make glycine on its own, but it is also consumed in the diet. A typical diet contains about 2 grams of glycine daily. The primary sources are protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, and legumes. Glycine can also be taken as a supplement.

Glycine is used for schizophrenia, stroke, and memory and thinking skills (cognitive function), but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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

  • Schizophrenia. Taking glycine by mouth along with conventional medicines seems to reduce certain symptoms of schizophrenia, called negative symptoms, in some people who don't respond to treatment with conventional medicines.
  • Stroke. Taking glycine under the tongue for 5 days may help to reduce brain damage due to a stroke that was caused by the blockage of a blood vessel (usually by a clot) in the brain.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • A rare, inherited disorder that prevents the body from making the amino acid serine (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.
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows that taking glycine by mouth might improve memory and mental performance.
  • Cystic fibrosis. Early research shows that taking glycine by mouth might improve lung function and breathing by a small amount in patients with cystic fibrosis.
  • Insomnia. 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.
  • Leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcer).
  • Liver protection.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of glycine for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Glycine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Some people have reported gastrointestinal side effects such as soft stools, nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset.

When applied to the skin: Glycine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if glycine is safe to use when pregnant or 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 stroke: 1 to 2 grams per day started within 6 hours after stroke onset has been used.

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.
  • Greenwood LM, Leung S, Michie PT, et al. The effects of glycine on auditory mismatch negativity in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2018;191:61-69. 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.
  • Oshima S, Shiiya S, Nakamura Y. Serum uric acid-lowering effects of combined glycine and tryptophan treatments in subjects with mild hyperuricemia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Nutrients 2019;11(3). pii: E564. 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.
  • Vargas MH, Del-Razo-Rodríguez R, López-García A, et al. Effect of oral glycine on the clinical, spirometric and inflammatory status in subjects with cystic fibrosis: a pilot randomized trial. BMC Pulm Med. 2017;17(1):206. 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.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.