Are you looking for a way to increase your lifespan and improve your overall health? Look no further than glycine. This amino acid has been shown to have numerous benefits, from reducing chronic disease and disability to improving sleep quality and even protecting against cancer and depression.
Glycine is an often-overlooked amino acid, but recent studies have shown just how important it is for our health and longevity. By increasing our intake of glycine, we can potentially extend our lifespan and improve our overall health span.
In this article, we’ll explore the numerous benefits of glycine, including its role in collagen synthesis, its ability to reduce insulin and neuroinflammation, and its potential to protect against depression and cancer. We’ll also discuss how to incorporate glycine into your diet and the optimal dosages for maximum benefit. So if you’re looking to improve your health and increase your lifespan, read on to learn everything you need to know about glycine.
The Longevity Benefits of Glycine:
- Glycine has been shown to extend lifespan in animal studies and mitigate chronic disease and disability, thereby increasing health span
- Glycine has anticancer effects, reduces insulin and alleviates neuroinflammation; it may also protect against depression and is essential for collagen synthesis
- To gain all of glycine’s healing potential, doses of 10 to 20 grams a day may be optimal
- You need at least 12 grams of glycine daily for optimal collagen turnover, plus another 3 grams per day to form glutathione
- Excess methionine from eating animal products without the connective tissues decreases longevity, but adding glycine will reduce the methionine/glycine ratio to counter the negative side effects of excess methionine
- Glycine has neurotransmitter qualities, improves depression and is also useful for improving sleep quality by helping relaxation at night by being very similar to the neurotransmitter GABA
What are The Longevity Benefits of Glycine?
Glycine is a nonessential amino acid that can be produced by the body, but as we age, our ability to produce it decreases. This is especially true if our dietary intake of connective tissue and collagen is low.
Recent research has shown that glycine is a potent longevity enhancer that is not only affordable but also has a mild, sweet taste. In fact, it is sometimes used as a sugar substitute.
I personally take 1 teaspoon of glycine with each of my two meals and before bedtime for its health benefits.
Studies have demonstrated that glycine can extend the lifespan of worms, mice, and rats while also improving health in models of age-related disease.
Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is mostly made up of glycine. Additionally, glycine serves as a precursor to glutathione, a potent antioxidant that decreases with age.
Siim Land, author of “Metabolic Autophagy,” states in the video that there are two significant benefits of glycine. These benefits are inducing autophagy and mimicking the longevity benefits of methionine restriction. According to Land, these benefits are crucial to the actions of glycine as a fountain of youth.
How Glycine May Influence Aging
According to a review published in Ageing Research Reviews, glycine serves as a receptor for the enzyme glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT), which plays a crucial role in methionine clearance. GNMT converts glycine to sarcosine, an autophagy-inducing metabolite. In mice deficient in GNMT, levels of free methionine may increase seven-fold, while S-adenosyl-L-methionine may increase by 35-fold.
Methionine is involved in cancer cell growth and metabolism, and methionine restriction inhibits cancer cell growth. Methionine restriction has been shown to improve longevity, extend lifespan in mice, and lower levels of insulin, glucose, and insulin-like growth factor 1. Limiting methionine also yields additional antiaging benefits, like reducing liver damage after exposure to dangerous amounts of acetaminophen and reducing overall frailty.
The researchers noted that glycine may prolong life by serving as a methionine restriction mimetic, as it lowers the methionine/glycine ratio, which may be more important than the absolute level of methionine consumption.
You Need Glycine for Collagen Synthesis
A team of scientists conducted a study on mice using data from the National Institute on Aging’s Interventions Testing Program. The study revealed that a diet with 8% glycine increased lifespan significantly, by 4% to 6%, in males and females.
This diet also offers additional benefits such as reduced risk of dying from lung cancer. Animal studies have shown a median increase in lifespan of up to 28.4% when consuming a diet containing 8% or 12% glycine.
Glycine has direct anti-aging effects via collagen synthesis. It helps to reduce wrinkles and is required for optimal collagen turnover.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up approximately 30% of all protein by mass. It is found in hair, teeth, skin, nails, organs, arteries, cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Collagen is essential for slowing down aging, especially when it comes to wrinkles. As a person ages, they lose just under 10% of their skin’s collagen content every decade, resulting in a 50% loss by the age of 75. Recently, it was discovered that collagen turnover happens every day and is part of a person’s daily protein turnover.
Glycine Protects Against Age-Related Disease
The potential of glycine to mitigate chronic disease and disability is significant, which can increase health span throughout the body. Glycine receptors exist in the central nervous system, making glycine act as a neurotransmitter.
A study by Aging Research Reviews compiled multiple examples of glycine’s ability to fight age-related disease in animals.
- Suppressed tumor growth in mice with melanoma
- Preserved muscle mass and reduced inflammatory markers in mice with cancer cachexia
- Even intermittently restricting methionine leads to benefits like improved glucose homeostasis, reduced obesity and protection against fatty liver
- Protected against cardiac hypertrophy
- Decreased fasting glucose, insulin, triglyceride and insulin-like growth factor 1 in male rats
- Improved endothelial function in older rats
- Reduced weight gain and improved bone mineral density in a mouse model designed to mimic postmenopausal bone loss
- Alleviated neuroinflammation and protected against cognitive deficits in mice with neurodegeneration
Studies on both animals and humans have shown that glycine can protect against chronic diseases. A study of 60 people with metabolic syndrome found that taking 15 grams of glycine daily for three months reduced oxidative stress and improved systolic blood pressure.
In older adults, a lack of glycine and cysteine can lead to decreased synthesis of glutathione, which is composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid.
This deficiency in glutathione is widespread in older adults and may contribute to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Glycine has been found to improve blood sugar levels, fasting insulin levels, triglycerides, brain function, and overall vitality.
Restricting methane and stimulating autophagy can also help clean out dysfunctional cells and boost glutathione levels, which is crucial for aging and buffers against methionine toxicity. Learn more about TrueScience Liquid Collagen and the Longevity Benefits of Glycine:
This botanically infused formula that helps accelerate the natural process to restore collagen. Start seeing these positive changes in as few as 8 weeks, thanks to a special blend of ingredients proven effective in clinical trials.
Glycine With NAC Supports Mitochondrial Health
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine conducted a study on supplementation with glycine and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which are both glutathione precursors that are known as GlyNAC when taken together.
In previous studies, they found that young mice deficient in glutathione had mitochondrial dysfunction, and supplementing with GlyNAC in older mice improved glutathione deficiency, mitochondrial impairment, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance.
The researchers also conducted a study on HIV patients, which found that GlyNAC supplementation improved deficits associated with premature aging, including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, genotoxicity, strength, and cognition.
A subsequent pilot trial in older humans found similar results, with GlyNAC supplementation for 24 weeks correcting glutathione deficiency and improving multiple measures of health, including:
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
- Endothelial dysfunction
- Exercise capacity
- Oxidative stress
- Insulin resistance
- Body fat levels
- Genomic damage
- Gait speed
- Waist circumference
The supplementation of GlyNAC has improved four out of nine hallmarks of aging, which are associated with age-related disorders. These hallmarks include mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, insulin resistance, and genomic damage.
The team noted that glycine is an important methyl-group donor, as methyl groups are abundant in DNA and are important components of multiple cellular reactions.
Furthermore, glycine is crucial for normal brain function.
Supplemental glycine may be useful for preventing and controlling atherosclerosis, heart failure, angiogenesis associated with cancer or retinal disorders, and a range of inflammation-driven syndromes, including metabolic syndrome.
Glycine’s Link to Depression
The role of glycine, a major neurotransmitter, in brain health is receiving increased attention. A 15-year study conducted by University of Florida researchers suggests that it may also be involved in depression, specifically through the GPR158 receptor.
The structure of GPR158 was found to be an amino acid receptor, specifically for glycine. The team named it mGlyR and found that glycine signals through it to inhibit the production of the second messenger adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate.
Glycine is also useful for improving sleep quality, as it helps to relax at night and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Those who ingested 3 grams of glycine within an hour before bedtime saw an improvement in subjective sleep quality, fell asleep faster, and were less sleepy during the day.
How Much Glycine Is Enough?
To fully benefit from glycine’s healing properties, it may be necessary to take doses of 10, 15, or 20 grams per day. Land recommends a minimum daily intake of 12 grams of glycine for optimal collagen turnover, as well as an additional 3 grams per day to produce glutathione and other compounds.
“Your body only makes 3 grams of glycine per day, and if you only consume around 2 to 3 grams of glycine from foods then it means that almost all of us are in a 10-gram glycine deficit every day,” he says.
“… I think most people would benefit for at least 5 to 10 grams of glycine a day, which is, uh kind of a moderate amount … if you are eating a lot of muscle meat … or you’re just interested in getting more of the benefits of glycine then you can take even up to 20 grams a day.”
The Longevity Benefits of Glycine: Collagen is an excellent source of glycine, in addition to supplements. My personal preference is to use unhydrolyzed collagen supplements, as they have a more balanced amino acid profile.
Alternatively, you can increase your collagen intake by making homemade bone broth using bones and connective tissue from grass-fed, organically raised animals. For a reliable source of collagen, consider our Liquid Collagen.
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