What is Glycine?

Glycine is an organic compound that is one of the 20 smallest amino acids that can be seen in proteins. This is a solid crystalline in form that is colorless and sweet tasting. Its other names are Acide Aminoacétique, Glycocoll, Acide Amino-Acétique, Athenon, Glycosthene, Monazol, Aminoacetic Acid, G Salt, Glicina, Iconyl, Glicina, and G-salt.

Although glycine is an amino acid, it is not an essential amino acid. This is because the body can create it from other chemicals. An average diet has up to 2 grams of this amino acid daily. And its primary sources are meat, dairy, fish, and other protein-rich foods.

Glycine is also used for treatment of various diseases such as stroke, schizophrenia, some rare metabolic disorders. It can also protect the kidneys from the harmful effects of chemical drugs, and the liver from the excessive effects of alcohol. It can also help prevent certain cancers and enhance the memory. Some people have reportedly used the compound to treat skin disorders such as leg ulcer and other types of wounds. Glycine is one of 3 main ingredients in glutathione.

In the United States, the compound is being sold in two types: the pharmaceutical type and the technical type. The pharmaceutical type is made for medicinal purposes like injectable medicines. The technical kind of this compound is sold for industrial purposes and the compound is used for metal finishing.

As human food, glycine is used as a sweetener. There are also some food supplements and protein drinks that contain it. Also, some medicines contain this compound to help the body absorb the drug faster. The compound is also used as an additive to some animal feed. It is also used in cosmetics and toiletries as a buffering agent.

As mentioned, the compound is used to help treat some cases of schizophrenia. Another medicine called Clozapine is also used to treat the same condition. However, studies show that the former decreases the effect of Clozapine if they are taken together. The reason is not yet clear for scientists, so they advise taking either one but not both of these medicines to treat schizophrenia.

There are different dosing ways of pharmaceutical glycine depending on the disease to be cured. For schizophrenia, divided doses of the compound are to be taken each day. These divided doses should have a total of 0.4 to 0.8 g a day. It usually starts at 4 g and increased gradually each day until the effective dose is achieved. For neuroprotection after the occurrence of stroke that is caused by a blood clot, 1 to 2 g each day should be the dosage 6 hours after the occurrence of the stroke.

Most people don’t experience side effects when taking glycine. It seems safe for most people. However, there are some reported cases of vomiting, nausea and sleepiness due to taking supplements with this compound.