Glycine is an amino acid, a building block for protein. It is not considered an “essential amino acid” because the body can make it from other chemicals. A typical diet contains about 2 grams of glycine daily. The primary sources are protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, and legumes.
Glycine is used for treating schizophrenia, stroke, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and some rare inherited metabolic disorders. It is also used to protect kidneys from the harmful side effects of certain drugs used after organ transplantation as well as the liver from harmful effects of alcohol. Other uses include cancer prevention and memory enhancement.
Some people apply glycine directly to the skin to treat leg ulcers and heal other wounds.
How it works
The body uses glycine to make proteins. Glycine is also involved in the transmission of chemical signals in the brain, so there is interest in trying it for schizophrenia and improving memory. Some researchers think glycine may have a role in cancer prevention because it seems to interfere with the blood supply needed by certain tumors.
Possibly EffectiveTreating schizophrenia, when used with other conventional medicinesTreating leg ulcers, when applied as a cream that also contains other amino acidsTreating the most common form of stroke (ischemic stroke)
Putting glycine under the tongue may help to limit brain damage caused by an ischemic stroke when started within 6 hours of having the stroke. An ischemic stoke is caused by the blockage of a blood vessel (usually by a clot) in the brain. Brain cells beyond the obstruction don't receive oxygen and begin to die, causing irreversible damage.
Glycine seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Most people do not experience side effects, although there have been a few reports of nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and drowsiness.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of glycine duringpregnancyandbreast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.Are there any interactions with medications?
Clozapine (Clozaril) is used to help treat schizophrenia. Taking glycine along with clozapine (Clozaril) might decrease the effectiveness of clozapine (Clozaril). It is not clear why this interaction occurs yet. Do not take glycine if you are taking clozapine (Clozaril).