We've added Glycine to our Collagen Creamers because it is as good for you as it tastes! Here's what you need to know.
What is glycine?
Glycine is an amino acid - one of the fundamental building blocks of proteins and an essential component of various biological processes in the human body.
It is the simplest and smallest of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids. Of the total amino acid content in the human body, 11.5% is made up of glycine.
Glycine is considered a “conditionally essential” amino acid because while your body can produce it, some evidence suggests that the quantity of glycine produced endogenously is not adequate for our metabolic activity.
Therefore, the remainder must be obtained from foods like meat, fish, dairy, legumes or supplements.
Glycine is naturally found in collagen
Glycine has an extensive list of roles in the body, being crucial for the immune system, growth, nervous system regulation, metabolism, digestion and detoxification, muscular function, cardiovascular health and beyond.
As you may be aware, collagen already contains glycine. This amino acid is an integral part of collagen's primary amino acid sequence, accounting for approximately one-third of the amino acids in collagen.
However, that means that without an adequate supply of glycine, the body cannot efficiently produce collagen, which may lead to issues like reduced skin elasticity, joint problems and weaker connective tissues.
Nutritional benefits of glycine
Evidence has shown that glycine supplementation contributes to collagen production and wound healing. But this is not the only benefit of including glycine alongside collagen in the product.
Some of the other health benefits of glycine include (but are not limited to):
1. Critical for nerve transmission 🧬
Glycine is involved in the processing of motor and sensory information that drives movement, vision, hearing and metabolism.
It can be both excitatory and inhibitory as a neurotransmitter, meaning that it can speed some processes up and slow others down.
2. Supports sleep quality 😴
Glycine’s ability to activate the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain is believed to be the reason why it can help to support sleep quality.
While the exact mechanism of action is still being investigated, it is thought that activation of NMDA receptors may lead to a reduction in body temperature, encouraging sleep onset latency.
In one small study, 15 adult females were given either 3 grams of glycine or a placebo before bed. The study concluded that supplementing with glycine showed a significant improvement in reduced fatigue and focus the next day.
3. Protection against neurological damage 🧠
Again it is glycine's role as an NMDA receptor agonist that means it may be effective in helping to prevent or treat neurological damage associated with stroke and reducing the negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
Evidence also suggests that glycine has neuroprotective properties in its ability to reduce oxidative stress in the brain.
4. Enhances memory 🧩
The NMDA receptor complex is involved in the mechanism of “long-term potentiation”, which is thought to be the biological basis of learning and memory.
Evidence shows that glycine intake may enhance memory without having a stimulating effect on the recipient, or impacting mood.
5. Supports detoxification and may reduce oxidative stress 💪
Glycine plays a vital role in the synthesis of glutathione which is essential for healthy phase 2 detoxification processes.
Glutathione is also a potent antioxidant that opposes the pro-inflammatory signalling of hydrogen peroxide in the body.
6. Necessary for the utilisation of dietary fats 🍳
The conjugation of bile acids is facilitated by glycine and glycine helps to increase bile flow; thereby glycine indirectly plays a crucial role in absorption and digestion of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins and lipids.
7. Essential for digestive health 🦠
Not only is glycine required for bile conjugation, it also has a number of defensive roles in the gut.
It protects the stomach lining against ulcer formation, and protects against endotoxins.
8. Anti-Inflammatory effects 🧊
Glycine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in various contexts.
For example, it inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNF-α, interleukin- 6 (IL-6), and IL-1β and increases the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.
9. Overall immune support 🛡️
In addition to its anti-inflammatory role, it has also been discovered that glycine has wider immunomodulatory activity by blocking the primary activation of multiple types of inflammatory cells.
It’s fundamental for regulating cell death and making cytokines by altering intracellular Ca2+ levels.
10. Lowers blood pressure and supports heart health 🫀
Glycine has been inversely associated with heart disease and it has suggested that this may be to do with its ability to lower blood pressure.
In light of the above, it's important to note that while glycine has several potential health benefits, its effectiveness can vary depending on individual factors, such as diet, genetics, and overall health.
Why do we add glycine to our Collagen Creamers?
All in all, this tiny amino acid delivers serious bang for its buck - with a whole host of health benefits.
What’s more, the other advantage of using glycine in the product is that it naturally has quite a sweet taste.
This means that glycine improves the flavour of the collagen creamers without the use of sugar or artificial sweeteners, while also improving the nutrient profile of the products. You’re welcome! 🤗
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.