Glycine Information and Health Benefits

Glycine is an amino acid found in the protein of all living organisms. Although most glycine is found in proteins, free glycine is found in body fluids as well as in the tissues and cells of plants. The normal human diet contributes approximately 2 grams of glycine to the body daily.

Since the cells of the human body can synthesize sufficient amounts of glycine to meet its needs, glycine is not considered an essential amino acid. Notwithstanding, glycine plays a major role in the synthesis of proteins, peptides, purines, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), nucleic acids, porphyrins, hemoglobin, glutathione, creatine, bile salts, one-carbon fragments, glucose, glycogen, and L-serine and many more amino acids. Glycine is also a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are the major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.

Glycine may help to alleviate the symptoms of spasticity. Possible medical indications for potentiating some anti-convulsant drugs and preventing some seizures could emerge, as could an indication for its use in managing schizophrenia.

Researchers now also believe that glycine may play an important role in helping to maintain the health of the prostate. It was observed in a recent study of men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that taking 780 mg of glycine per day for two weeks and then 390 mg for the next two and a half months, taken in combination with equal amounts of the amino acids, alanine and glutamic acid, reduced symptoms of the BPH. Glycine also enhances the activity of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain and may possibly improve both memory and cognition.


Glycine is available in tablets and capsules up to 500 milligrams. Those who supplement use up to 1 gram daily in divided doses. For those taking glycine in connection with schizophrenia, doses have ranged from 40 to 90 grams daily.