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What Is L-Glycine?

Helen Akers
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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L-glycine is one of 12 non-essential amino acids. It is used by the body to build protein. While l-glycine is produced naturally by the body through other amino acids, it is also found in protein-rich foods and is consumed by some people in supplement form.

As an amino acid, l-glycine provides several benefits to the body. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and also encourages the production of essential neurotransmitters and enzymes needed for proper brain functioning. In addition, it slows down the muscle degeneration process and helps to maintain the body's thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow, and white blood cell levels.

Neurotransmitters are responsible for sending and receiving messages within the brain. Amino acids are directly involved in this process, helping to facilitate the communication with nerve cells located in other parts of the body. Since this amino acid helps the body to produce essential neurotransmitters, it has been used to relieve mood disorders such as depression.

Some amino acids also pass through the brain's barrier, directly affecting its chemistry and processes. Certain ones, including l-glycine, are thought to help reduce stress, anxiety, frustration, and feelings of being overwhelmed. One of the benefits is improved cognitive flow, which allows the brain to smoothly transform thought into action.

L-glycine has also been used to treat hyperactivity and manic depression, and to prevent epileptic seizures. In addition to its soothing effect on the brain, exposure to this amino acid helps to calm the body's central nervous system. Supplements may be used to treat hyperactive disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Protein is essential to the body's muscle building and repair process, and protein-building amino acids can enhance the effects of vitamins and minerals. L-glycine is among the amino acids that provide the human body with the chemicals necessary to synthesize proteins, enzymes and hormones. These acids also directly affect the metabolic rate that is attained when an individual participates in strenuous physical activity.

For the majority of individuals, l-glycine is produced naturally in the body. Those with a low level of serine, another non-essential amino acid, may find that they need to increase their dietary intake of it through high-protein foods or supplements. Natural food sources include proteins like meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs, as well as a few plants and vegetables. Supplements are a good alternative for those who follow a vegetarian diet.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Helen Akers
By Helen Akers , Former Writer
Helen Akers, a talented writer with a passion for making a difference, brings a unique perspective to her work. With a background in creative writing, she crafts compelling stories and content to inspire and challenge readers, showcasing her commitment to qualitative impact and service to others.

Discussion Comments

By anon992488 — On Sep 11, 2015

Glycine is the one amino acid where the L and the D are not necessary (or meaningful) qualifiers. Glycine is the only amino acid which isn't chiral and so there is no need to specify L-glycine.

By anon355459 — On Nov 16, 2013

Helen Akers

Helen Akers

Former Writer

Helen Akers, a talented writer with a passion for making a difference, brings a unique perspective to her work. With a...
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