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Glycine

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Glycine

The following presentation is based on that of Neurolab,1, which has been supplemented and expanded.

Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and the smallest non-essential amino acid. Glycine is an important building block of almost all body proteins.2

Emergence:
Glycine is absorbed from food or formed in cell mitochondria from serine, threonine, choline and hydroxyproline.3

Degradation:
Conversion of glycine by the enzymes serine aldolase and L-serine deaminase via serine to pyruvate. Decarboxylation of glycine with the lipoprotein lipoyllysine by glycine dehydrogenase.

Glycine is a component of acetylcholine and increases acetylcholine synthesis in the hippocampus, striatum, and nucleus tractus solitarii.4

Effect of glycine:

  • In the brain
    • Comparable effect to GABA (inhibitory)5
      furthermore
    • Agonist of glutamate NMDA receptors (exitatory)67 8
      • Glycine is constantly present in low concentrations in the extracellular and cerebrospinal fluid. The concentration is basically sufficient to saturate the NMDA receptor.9
      • Glycine transporters can change the concentration locally9
    • High oral doses cross blood-brain barrier8

Behavioral impacts:

  • Modulates the immune defense10
  • Has an antioxidant effect1110
    • Protects glutathione from degradation due to oxidative stress
  • Has a cytoprotective effect10
  • Modulates pain sensation
  • Possibly improves memory, but not attention12
  • Increases vasopressin, but not melatonin13
  • High evening doses have a sleep-promoting and sleep-prolonging effect213 14
    • In a case known to us of an adult woman with melancholic depression, glycine was able to resolve the massive sleep-through problems typical of melancholic depression.
  • Anxiety-relieving
    • In the dorsal periaqueductal gray anxiety-increasing7
  • Permanently improves schizophrenia symptoms (even after glycing has stopped)8
    • Negative symptoms: effect size 0.8
    • Positive symptoms: effect size 0.5
    • Cognitive symptoms: effect size 0.4
    • Depressive symptoms: slight improvement

  1. Neurolab: Glycin

  2. Razak, Begum, Viswanath, Rajagopal(2017): Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Volume 2017, Article ID 1716701, 8 pages, https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1716701. Review Article

  3. Wang, Wu, Dai, Yang, Wang, Wu (2013): Glycine metabolism in animals and humans: implications for nutrition and health, Amino Acids 2013,45: 463. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-013-1493-1

  4. Talman, Wellendorf, Martinez, Ellison, Li, Cassell, Ohta (1994): Glycine elicits release of acetylcholine from the nucleus tractus solitarii in rat, Brain Research, Volume 650, Issue 2, 1994, Pages 253-259, ISSN 0006-8993, https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-8993(94)91789-2.4

  5. Rajendra, Lynch, Schofield (1997): The glycine receptor, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 73, Issue 2, 1997, Pages 121-146, ISSN 0163-7258, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-7258(96)00163-5.

  6. Johnson, Ascher (1987): Glycine potentiates the NMDA response in cultured mouse brain neurons. Nature Volume 325, pages 529–531

  7. Teixeira, Carobrez (1999): Effects of glycine or (±)-3-amino-l-hydroxy-2-pyrrolidone microinjections along the rostrocaudal axis of the dorsal periaqueductal gray matter on rats’ performance in the elevated plus-maze task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 113(1), 196-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0735-7044.113.1.196

  8. Javitt, Silipo, Cienfuegos, Shelley, Bark, Park, Lindenmayer, Suckow, Zukin, Adjunctive high-dose glycine in the treatment of schizophrenia, International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2001, Pages 385–391, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145701002590

  9. Graw (2015): Genetik, Seite 689

  10. Zhong, Wheeler, Li, Froh, Schemmer, Yin, Bunzendaul, Bradford, Lemasters (2003): L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: March 2003 – Volume 6 – Issue 2 – p 229-240 Nutrition in the intensive care unit

  11. Howard, Tahir, Javed, Waring, Ford, Hirst (2010): Glycine transporter GLYT1 is essential for glycine‐mediated protection of human intestinal epithelial cells against oxidative damage. The Journal of Physiology, 588: 995-1009. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2009.186262

  12. File, Fluck, Fernandes (1999): Beneficial Effects of Glycine (Bioglycin) on Memory and Attention in Young and Middle-Aged Adults. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: December 1999 – Volume 19 – Issue 6 – p 506-512. Vorsicht: Produktorientierte Studie.

  13. Bannai, Kawai, Ono, Nakahara, Murakami (2012): The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers. Front. Neurol., 18 April 2012. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2012.00061

  14. Bannai, Kawai (2012): New Therapeutic Strategy for Amino Acid Medicine: Glycine Improves the Quality of Sleep, Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 2012, Volume 118, Issue 2, Pages 145-148, Released February 16, 2012, https://doi.org/10.1254/jphs

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