The amino acid glycine plays a key role in maintaining a healthy central nervous system (CNS). It is considered one of the most important inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS, particularly in the brainstem and spinal cord. Studies show glycine can help improve memory retrieval in individuals with a wide variety of sleep-depriving conditions, such as jet lag and overwork. The benefits of glycine are not just limited to the CNS. Glycine also plays a key role in phase II liver detoxification by having a direct effect on toxin elimination or by increasing the level of glutathione. Glycine also helps modulate cytokines associated with obesity.
Glycine is one of three amino acids needed to produce creatine, which in turn supplies energy to muscle and nerve cells. The other two amino acids are arginine and methionine. High concentrations of glycine are found in the muscles, the skin, and other connective tissues. Approximately 30 percent of collagen is composed of glycine.
Glycine plays an important role in supporting a healthy digestive system by helping to regulate the synthesis of bile acid, which the body uses to digest fats. Glycine also plays a role in regulating the utilization of glucose during energy production.