What Does Glycine Do, and is it in Collagen Supplements?
Maintaining our physical health is not always easy since we are prone to issues caused by seemingly irrelevant sources. Our bodies' development from conception is a complex process involving proteins, DNA, and other genetic factors. These factors all come together to create what will eventually be our bodies, though some resources from our development deteriorate over time.
While some of the resources from our development are permanently lost, others can be reintroduced via supplementation. These supplements give our bodies the raw materials needed to trigger the same developmental benefits we enjoy as embryos. While supplementation is significantly weaker than fetal development, it can help compensate for deficiencies and improve our health and appearance.
One of the lesser-known supplement tools is glycine, which carries significant benefits for those familiar with the substance. Glycine, like most supplements, is an important part of our physical and biological health. Despite the importance of glycine, it is part of a group of compounds that the average person does not understand. Short of genuine interest in biology, the average American citizen cannot recite what role glycine plays in our bodies from memory.
Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge does not diminish the importance substances like glycine have for our health. Fortunately, educating ourselves on substances like glycine and how they relate to more common supplements is easier than you might have guessed.
What is Glycine?
Depending on your commitment to health and biology, you might have heard of glycine before, though maybe not in detail. Glycine is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the human body and operates as a neurotransmitter. This means glycine communicates with our central nervous system and plays a role in our natural healing capacity. Glycine was first discovered by a French chemist named Henri Braconnot in 1820.
Braconnot made the discovery after boiling hydrolyzed gelatin with sulfuric acid, though he dubbed his discovery "sugar of gelatin." His peer, Jean-Baptiste Boussingault, revealed the substance's concentration of nitrogen. Despite being discovered by French chemists, Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius cemented the name "glycine" due to the substance's sweet aroma.
In 1858, French chemist Auguste Cahours discovered glycine is an amine of acetic acid, confirming it as an amino acid. After the discovery of glycine, research determined the role it plays in our bodies. This linked glycine to our central nervous system and helped us determine it is a healing substance. From there, it became a question of replicating glycine synthetically to use as a health supplement. Despite being a natural amino acid in humans, it is still possible for our glycine levels to deteriorate.
The deterioration of glycine levels in the body drove the development of glycine supplements. By offering a synthesized alternative, we can overcome the handicaps of natural depletion common to several naturally occurring yet important substances in our bodies. Glycine can be isolated from hydrolyzed protein, but chemical synthesis is more common, which is faster and has higher yields. The synthesis of glycine has become a fairly substantial practice, but therein lies the bigger question. What are these glycine supplements used to treat?
What Do Glycine Supplements Do?
Glycine plays a role in our natural healing abilities, but that statement is broad and might not give you the information you want. While glycine can be used as a health supplement, you will find it useless unless you actively suffer from the ailment glycine can fix. While glycine has numerous general health benefits that can prove useful for almost anyone, it truly shines when used to address specific issues. For those of you who do not have a particular issue you need to address, the main benefit of glycine is its status as an antioxidant ingredient. Antioxidants have seen a major resurgence in modern holistic lifestyles, though not everyone knows what makes them valuable.
Antioxidants are tools our bodies use to protect our cells against oxidative damage (damage caused by free radicals). Free radicals contribute to several diseases that can adversely affect our health and should not be allowed to thrive in our bodies. One of the main antioxidants human bodies produce is glutathione, an extremely powerful antioxidant and one of the most important.
Unlike most antioxidants, glutathione cannot be acquired through food and is instead produced by the body. Our bodies produce glutathione by combining 3 amino acids to replenish the supply. One of the 3 amino acids required to produce glutathione is glycine, which might not be surprising given the similarities in their names.
People suffering from glycine deficiencies might find their bodies struggling to produce glutathione and lose their antioxidant protection. Part of what makes glycine manufacture an important part of supplementation is that it provides an answer to antioxidant shortages. This is especially important for the elderly since glutathione levels decrease with age. However, antioxidants are not the only important role glycine plays in our health.
A little-known effect of glycine is that it is beneficial for treating the effects of insomnia and improving sleep quality. Insomnia is an incredibly common issue in modern Americans, and sleep quality has plummeted across the country. Countless people have turned to sleep supplements like melatonin to overcome their insomnia symptoms, but most cases involve an underlying mental process. The biggest cause of insomnia is anxiety or an overactive mental process where you cannot relax. This mental strain inhibits our ability to calm down and relax long enough to fall asleep.
Fortunately, some tools can help address these anxiety issues and enable us to enter the restful state needed to drift off. While it might sound strange, glycine is one of the substances capable of relaxing our mental state. This does not mean glycine has a drowsing effect and will put you to sleep, but it will help ease the feelings of anxiety long enough for our body's natural drowsing process to resume.
Glycine does this by lowering our body's core temperature, which can slow mental processes and minimize the impact of intrusive thoughts borne from anxiety. While such claims are easy to make, glycine's effects on insomnia have scientific backing to support the assertation. Specifically, a study conducted on people struggling with sleep issues found that 3 grams of glycine before bed had the following effects:
- The subjects in the test group fell asleep faster.
- The quality of sleep for the subjects in the test group increased.
- The daytime drowsiness of the subjects in the test group decreased.
- The cognitive levels of the subjects in the test group increased.
Sleep quality and antioxidants are only a couple of the benefits glycine offers for modern Americans. Others make glycine a valuable addition to anyone's supplement regimen, but there are some concerns about how it interacts with other supplements. Primarily, one of the biggest questions surrounding glycine is how it will affect collagen supplementation.
Is Glycine in Collagen Supplements?
The question that brought you to this article has occurred to several people who employ natural supplements to improve their health or appearance. Collagen and glycine are beneficial to the health of those who take them, though they primarily benefit people with deficiencies. Nevertheless, people looking to use either supplement are liable to be concerned about negative interactions. Fortunately, you can allay your fears about glycine and collagen being incompatible since the two are connected as a matter of biology. One of the main ingredients our bodies use to produce collagen is creatine. Creatine is another marvel of biology that our bodies produce to accomplish other tasks, not least of which is producing collagen.
In addition to contributing to collagen production, creatine has several additional benefits that improve the state of our bodies. For instance, when combined with the proper training program, creatine has been linked to increased muscle size, strength, and power. Creatine has also been linked to improved bone health and brain function, the latter of which helps fight neurological conditions like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. Creatine's range of benefits can be extensive, but like collagen, our body's concentration of creatine deteriorates over time.
While this might seem irrelevant to glycine, the reality is that the two go hand-in-hand. Creatine requires other compounds and substances before the body can manufacture it, and one of the most important ingredients in creatine is glycine. This means that collagen cannot exist without glycine and a deficiency of the latter leads to a deficiency of the former. Therefore, the answer to the question that brought you here is "yes," there is glycine in collagen, albeit diluted as an ingredient of an ingredient. Nevertheless, collagen supplements will possess a significant amount of glycine, making it unnecessary to take supplements for both simultaneously.
To clarify, simultaneously taking glycine and collagen supplements will not adversely affect your health. The only issue is that you will not see increased benefits of either supplement beyond what you would experience taking a collagen supplement alone. The one advantage collagen supplements have over glycine supplements is that the benefits of collagen are added to the results. While a glycine supplement will give your body some of the resources needed to produce collagen, it will take time to manifest. Comparatively, collagen supplements immediately introduce ready-made collagen your body can use to apply its effects on your body.
This does yield another question that some readers might not know the answer to yet. What are the benefits of collagen supplementation?
What Are the Benefits of Collagen Supplements?
The odds are high that you already know what benefits collagen supplements provide, but we are happy to provide some clarity for those just beginning your journey. Collagen is a protein our bodies require in the earliest stages of development to produce our largest organ. Without collagen, we would be walking around without skin, and the protein is responsible for our skin's health in later life. We mentioned before that collagen levels deteriorate over time, resulting in wrinkled and damaged skin seen in old age. Part of what makes collagen supplementation so popular is that it can stave off the aging effect by rehydrating the skin and restoring its elasticity.
While collagen supplements can address skin health, they can also provide benefits for heart, gastrointestinal, and bone health. Additionally, it can provide several of the same beneficial effects glycine offers due to its role in collagen production. The primary use of collagen for modern Americans is cosmetic, restoring the youthful luster of our skin. Generally, collagen and glycine supplements are only effective in people with a deficiency. If you suffer hair loss, skin deterioration, or other conditions without a collagen deficiency, it is likely because of other genetic factors that collagen and glycine cannot help resolve.
Regardless, understanding the interaction between glycine and collagen only does so much. The real challenge will be locating a supplement you can trust.
Finding the Right Blend
Glycine and collagen are more closely related than most people realize, though the confusion is understandable. Glycine will always be present in collagen supplements, and its effects on our health can be astounding. Glycine and collagen are testaments to natural and organic compounds' power in beauty and physical health. While you will not need a glycine supplement if you are actively using a collagen supplement, the trick is finding a collagen product that suits your needs. One of the biggest problems with products like this is that too many vendors try to sell shoddy products to their consumers.
We at Teami believe that natural supplements are the best tool for any ailment or beauty challenge, so we take quality very seriously. Insofar as glycine and collagen are concerned, we offer a range of collagen supplements to ensure you get your daily dose without skimping on the glycine. Whether you prefer gummies or powder, our collagen supplements are made from some of the richest sources of collagen and have a fruity taste that will make supplementation a treat. We highly encourage you to visit our website and see if any of our available products appeal to you. Remember, finding the right blend is a Teami effort!
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