Glycine and Proline: Understanding Their Roles in the Body
The human body is a melting pot of different biological substances that fulfill different roles to keep the entirety of our bodies functioning. Our biology is extremely complicated and optimized to prioritize essential functions over minor ones. Unfortunately, the complicated nature of human biology makes it particularly fragile and susceptible to damage. There are many health concerns facing modern society born from the growing number of toxins and a general lack of knowledge surrounding our health.
There are 2 substances that are regularly found in the human body that the average person does not understand well. Glycine and proline are lesser-known substances that factor into our bodily health that you might not have heard about. While not every substance in the human body provides major health benefits, they often play a role in some aspect of our physiology that we hold dear.
The problem is that most people are unaware of what glycine and proline have to offer and therefore do not concern themselves with them. Despite this, these substances play a role in our health and appearance, but understanding how they do this is critical to assessing their importance.
What is Glycine?
Glycine is an amino acid, one of the many our bodies need to function properly, though the identity of glycine is unknown to most people. The average person has no reason to track glycine as one of the essential components for their health. While you might not know much about glycine, it remains one of the most fascinating substances because it is the only achiral proteinogenic amino acid.
This means glycine can easily fit in hydrophobic and hydrophilic environments, making it extremely versatile. Glycine was first discovered in 1820 by a French chemist named Henri Braconnot following an experiment with hydrolyzed gelatin. Braconnot originally named glycine the "sugar of gelatin," but another French chemist, Jean-Baptiste Boussingault, revealed the presence of nitrogen in the substance in 1838.
It was not until 1847 when Eben Norton Horsford (a student of German chemist Justus von Liebig) proposed the name "glycocoll" to replace Braconnot's name for the substance. Finally, a Swedish chemist named Jöns Jacob Berzelius simplified the name to "glycine." Glycine was eventually found to be a natural product in the human body, but many people experienced deficiencies. As a result, the sale of glycine became popular for people looking to improve their glycine intake.
Glycine is important because our bodies need it to produce essential proteins that fuel and sustain them. Without glycine, our bodies would lack essential nutrients that keep us moving and energized. Maintaining our amino acid levels, including glycine, is an important aspect of your overall health. Glycine is also an important neurotransmitter that helps regulate our central nervous system, making it more important than you might have initially believed.
The Benefits of Glycine
Despite being an amino acid, glycine also serves as a powerful supplement that can enhance the physical health and appearance of the person taking it. The question is: what benefits does glycine offer, and how accurate are the allegations? One of the primary benefits of glycine is that it is a necessary ingredient in a powerful antioxidant our bodies create.
Glutathione is one of the most effective antioxidants in the human body, requiring 3 amino acids to create. One of those amino acids is glycine, but you might be curious why glutathione is important. Antioxidants are regularly advertised as holistic supplements in multiple markets, but many disregard them as ineffective. Antioxidants are highly effective in protecting the body from harmful molecules.
Specifically, antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that can cause oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is considered the underlying factor of several diseases and health issues, making it dangerous. Fortunately, glutathione can reduce oxidative stress in the body, but the need for glycine to create it can make it problematic if you are deficient. Glycine's role in glutathione production is only one of the benefits associated with the acid, and some of the others are slightly more cosmetic in nature.
Glycine is the main amino acid our bodies use to produce collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body. Rather, we should say it is the most abundant protein "on" the human body since collagen is a key component of skin. Without collagen in the womb, we would never develop our dermal layer and would be walking around with exposed flesh and organs.
Unfortunately, the collagen produced by our skin, hair, and nails is limited, and we lose it over time. Eventually, our skin wrinkles and our hair thins due to collagen deficiencies that arise from age or genetic predisposition. This can have an unfortunate effect on our appearance, impacting our self-esteem and confidence.
When glycine levels are low, our body's ability to produce more collagen to compensate for this issue is severely diminished. Our bodies need glycine to create collagen, but maintaining collagen is primarily a cosmetic concern since there are not many serious health issues associated with collagen deficiencies. However, certain issues can harm your mental and physical health if you do not keep your collagen at reasonable levels.
Supplementing your glycine levels can help your body produce these essential proteins to maintain health and appearance. That said, you might have noticed that the benefits of glycine seem to involve being used to produce other substances rather than providing standalone benefits.
Glycine does have benefits that directly affect you rather than contributing to the production of another compound. Specifically, glycine has been linked to improved sleep quality and liver protection. Ultimately, the main role of glycine is as an ingredient in specific proteins and substances rather than as a standalone compound. With this in mind, another amino acid remains worthy of discussion in this article.
What is Proline?
Proline is a proteinogenic amino acid like glycine but differs significantly from its counterpart. Unlike glycine, proline cannot thrive in hydrophilic and hydrophobic environments, but it makes up for this handicap by possessing an equally unique trait. Proline is the only secondary amino acid that is a secondary amine, making it a chemical oddity that has earned it distinction in the field.
While it is a little less versatile than glycine, proline remains an essential amino acid that has become critical to the human condition. Proline was first discovered in 1900 by Richard Willstätter, a German chemist studying N-methylproline. Willstätter synthesized proline by triggering a chemical reaction using other acids. In 1901, another German chemist Emil Fischer replicated the synthesis of proline through alternate means.
Proline might not be as crucial as glycine, but it offers several biological reactions that make it valuable to our health. Another similarity between proline and glycine is that our bodies naturally produce proline, but it is not as abundant as the former. Fortunately, we can introduce more proline to our bodies through certain foods rich in protein. Meat, fish, and dairy are excellent sources of proline and can help replenish your natural levels if you are deficient. Of course, we are left asking the same question as glycine: what makes proline beneficial?
The Benefits of Proline
Proline is a non-essential amino acid and therefore has fewer major benefits than glycine. Nevertheless, proline has a role in holistic care and can be used to enhance your health and appearance. Proline's main benefit is synthesizing certain proteins that support our bodies and energize us. Despite being non-essential, proline is one of the amino acids essential to collagen production.
This is the most significant connection between proline and glycine, reinforcing the latter's benefits for collagen deficiencies. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only confirmed benefit proline offers since the other proteins it contributes to do not necessarily require it. Nevertheless, simultaneously supplementing your proline and glycine levels can help you recover collagen and enhance your dermal health.
While proline might not be as impressive as glycine, it remains a beneficial tool for cosmetic health and, on a lesser level, general health. The problem is less about how proline improves your body and more about properly introducing it alongside glycine. Most people assume that the only way to supplement these 2 amino acids simultaneously is to take different supplements for each one. Fortunately, there is a solution that you might not have heard about.
How to Supplement Both Simultaneously
There is a plant called Moringa oleifera that is native to the Indian subcontinent but has since been imported to the Western world. M. oleifera, colloquially called moringa, is a popular tool for Ayurvedic medicine due to its high concentration of nutrients and minerals. Since it arrived in America, moringa has been refined into multiple supplements to capitalize on its beneficial properties.
While moringa is highly beneficial and does offer several important health benefits, there is a detail that is usually overlooked. Moringa possesses high concentrations of several different amino acids. Moringa plants, powders, and extracts contain 15 distinct amino acids, including all 9 essential ones. This makes this relevant to the current topic because moringa also contains glycine and proline.
While moringa supplements were not created specifically to supplement these 2 amino acids, it is a natural source of both. This means taking moringa supplements can enhance your glycine and proline concentrations so you can enjoy their effects on your collagen levels. The presence of glycine and proline in moringa is often overshadowed by the other 13, and the benefits for which moringa is lauded.
Nevertheless, moringa supplements are readily available on the market and can be repurposed to supplement these amino acids. The worst-case scenario is that you might reap some of the other benefits of moringa while using it to bolster your glycine and proline levels. That said, moringa must be cautiously used if you are using blood thinners since moringa is a blood thinner too.
You should ascertain other details about moringa before using it as an amino acid supplement, but it will likely be an invaluable tool. Unfortunately, you will have a harder time tracking down a supplement that can be trusted since many pharmacies and markets stock products that have been "enhanced" with additional ingredients. Fortunately, that search might be easier than you think.
Getting Your Nutrients
Glycine and proline are very useful for people dealing with collagen deficiencies since they both play a major role in its production. While collagen supplements exist, some people prefer to improve the concentration of natural resources their bodies have to produce naturally. Additionally, glycine is used to produce so many other benefits that it is worth supplementing on its own merit.
Supplementing these amino acids can do more than improve your collagen levels, but simultaneously introducing them could be frustrating. Most people turn to capsules dedicated to a specific substance to improve their health, using multiple when they have more than one deficiency. This can get tiring, though, and there are easier ways to supplement multiple nutrients and amino acids. Moringa supplements can help you eliminate the need for different supplements, but the trick is finding a supplement you can trust.
We at Teami have always maintained that the best solutions are natural ones. That is why we offer a variety of products that employ different natural substances to enhance the human body. We highly encourage you to check out our line of products and see which one may work best for your needs. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
Do you have any questions about glycine, proline, their roles in the body, or anything else we mentioned in today's article? If so, please feel free to leave a comment down below, and we'll do our best to answer your questions as soon as possible! Additionally, if you're searching for any further information, we highly recommend checking out our other articles! There are a vast number of articles already available, and more are being published every week, so you're bound to find useful information relating to your needs! We're here to help you out however we can; just let us know if there's anything we can do!
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