There are both natural and synthetic nutrients that are readily available that can help us achieve a healthy and beautiful body – we just need to know what they are so that we can make proper adjustments and practical changes.
For example, do you know that there is one simple but essential amino acid that our body generates that provide the necessary repair and care to our skin, muscles, brain and nervous system? This nutrient is in charge of stimulating the release of proteins that can heal and repair specific tissues. It is the most simple, but truly vital, specially in supporting collagen – a very well known component to those who are conscious on the quality of their skin, ligaments and bones.
So what is it then? It’s none other than Glycine, sometimes simply spelled as Gly or G. It is also sourced from food and available in supplement form.
How Does Glycine Work?
Glycine as mentioned above, is an amino acid that also functions as a building block for other proteins that help the body. The liver produces it along with other amino acids such as serine and threonine. Most glycine or G are concentrated in the collagen – about 35 percent. It primarily works to repair and enhance muscle, skin and connective tissues. Other than these, glycine plays a vital role too in the nervous and digestive systems for their proper function. For example, in the nervous system, G helps regulate the retina of the eyes, spinal cord and brain stem. Thus, G produces salient enzymes needed by both systems such as creatine, bile and nucleic acids and, porphyrins.
Even with its simplicity, it has so many functions that aids the body in performing its full potential.
Some of the many benefits include strengthening and repairing muscle tissues. As glycine is primarily concentrated in the collagen, which regulates the muscle, skin, ligaments and bones tissues, it is essential for those who have experienced damages or stresses on the muscles as G aids in the fast recovery and renewal. Fast recovery and strengthening of these tissues are also essential for people who love working out and have active lifestyle or who does professional weightlifting and body building.
Improve sleep quality
Lack of sleep also undermines our health. Insufficiency in getting a good sleep manifests in many ways: dull and blotchy skin and poor cognitive function. It can also affect the body’s immunity and overall heart health. Having poor immunity and heart health makes one prone to illnesses and cardiovascular diseases. glycine helps in regulating sleep as it has a soothing effect on the body and brain when taken before going to bed. Good quality sleep can thus improve memory and even enhance the mood – making one feel better and less gloomy.
Boost heart health
As it aids in getting sleep even for insomniacs, reports also suggest its role in protecting the heart as glycine helps in the production of nitric oxide, along with other essential amino acids. Nitric oxide is significant in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow – vital not only to protect the body from cardio vascular ailments but also those who have suffer from plaque build up on the artery walls.
Poor blood flow to the brain caused by narrow or blocked arteries is also the leading cause of Ischemic attack. While reports does not say that it prevents cerebral attacks, glycine is given to patients who have had strokes immediately after.
Helps regulate blood sugar
Another benefit of Glycine is increasing insulin in the body, a molecule that regulates blood sugar. Those with certain type of diabetes may benefit from this as diabetics have low capacity to secrete or produce insulin. What glycine does is assist in transforming glucose into energy – the outcome of having a well blood sugar regulation, which this essential amino acid provides.
Aids in producing glutathione
Antioxidant is a buzz word for those who want to minimize the damage of pollutants, stresses and free radicals; and glycine can actually help in producing a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione is a chemical produced by the liver, but production decreases as we age. It plays a key role in combatting cell damage, so taking glycine helps in producing this antioxidant.
People with liver damage due to excessive alcohol drinking could benefit from incorporating more glycine in their diet or daily rituals. It is said that this amino acid helps in preventing the inflammation of the liver due to over consumption of alcohol.
Another side benefit is improving the body’s stamina, useful for people who often feel tired and fatigued.
Sources of Glycine
With all the benefits of glycine, it not surprising that many have already incorporated glycine either through dietary adjustments or taking safe supplements.
Again, stimulating the body to produce more glycine is not that difficult as this amino acid can be sourced from both meat and plant-based proteins. Examples are red meat, pork, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, vegetables such as beans, cauliflower, kale, spinach, cabbage pumpkins. and fruits such as banana and kiwi.
Glycine supplements are also widely available in health stores. Again, while glycine is generally safe there are also some side effects. Overdosing could lead to loose bowel movement, others may feel nauseous in some instances or experience stomach disturbances. Patients taking specific medications for mental or emotional imbalance should not take glycine, however.
Thus, while glycine have a plethora of uses and benefits, always remember to ask for the doctor’s advise first if you need to take supplements or, where to purchase them from reputable health stores.