May 2018 - Compounding News - Glycine
Glycine is the smallest, most simple amino acid. It is a precursor to protein formation and acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It plays a role in many different body functions, supporting strong immune, digestive and nervous systems.
Some clinical applications that may be useful for your patients:
- Sleep - Glycine improves sleep quality and quantity, probably through peripheral vasodilation, which causes heat loss. As we fall asleep our body temperature naturally falls, and glycine seems to mimic this, inducing sleep. Incidentally this is why a warm shower before bed is thought to help - the shower warms our body up, and the subsequent drop makes us feel sleepy. Studies show that glycine improves sleep quality and sleep satisfaction, as well as reducing time to sleep onset and daytime fatigue.
- Collagen formation - Glycine makes up 35% of the collagen molecule. It is required to stabilise the triple helix of collagen, providing its strength and elasticity. Low serum glycine observed in patients with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease may contribute to the calcification of arteries and increased cardiovascular risk, studies show that this may be reversed with glycine administration.
- Anti ageing - Glycine helps to maintain lean muscle mass into old age, increases the secretion of growth hormone and protects cartilage in joints. Increasing collagen integrity means the skin remains firm and flexible.
- Diabetes and CVD - glycine reduces glycosylated haemoglobin levels and may reduce the incidence of diabetic complications. It has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce oxidative stress in patients with metabolic syndrome.
- Sweetener - Glycine tastes sweet, but as it is an amino acid it does not increase blood glucose levels. In fact studies suggest that glycine may potentiate the effect of insulin, increasing glucose disposal from the blood.
We can compound glycine into capsules or a powder blend, where it gives the powder a sweet taste. We can also use magnesium glycinate, so that your patients have the benefit of both magnesium and glycinate. When bound to glycine, magnesium is absorbed in to the blood stream as an amino acid, bypassing the mineral absorbtion channels which are readily saturated.
The recommended dose of glycine is 1-3g at bedtime for insomnia and 5-15g per day for the other indications.
As always please call or email me if you would like to discuss any compounding questions that you have.