Does Glycine Work?

Many people may wonder, "Does glycine work?" Although glycine is claimed to help with several health conditions, more research is necessary to confirm these claims. However, preliminary research indicates that glycine may be effective at treating schizophrenia, leg ulcers, and strokes. Glycine does not appear to be effective for treating schizophrenia when used with "atypical" antipsychotics. There is insufficient evidence to indicate whether glycine is effective for other uses.

Does Glycine Work?

Glycine is an amino acid found in many protein-rich foods and also used in dietary supplements. As with most supplements, glycine is used for a number of different conditions. Glycine supplements are sometimes claimed to help for the following purposes:
 
  • An enlarged prostate (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
  • Leg ulcers (when applied to the skin)
  • Memory problems
  • Schizophrenia
  • Strokes (to minimize damage after a stroke)
  • 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase deficiency, a rare genetic condition
  • Isovaleric acidemia, also a rare genetic condition.
     
Glycine is also claimed to help protect the liver and kidneys and to help prevent cancer.
 

Glycine Studies

Glycine studies are generally lacking sufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of glycine for certain uses. However, early studies indicate that glycine may work for schizophrenia, leg ulcers, and strokes. In particular, some studies have shown that adding glycine to older, "typical" antipsychotic medications may help treat schizophrenia cases that are otherwise difficult to treat. However, glycine does not seem to be effective when added to newer, "atypical" antipsychotics (in some studies, adding glycine actually made atypical antipsychotics less effective). When used for leg ulcers, one study showed that a cream containing glycine, along with two other amino acids, might help reduce pain and help healing. For strokes, one study showed that giving glycine shortly after a stroke might help protect the brain from damage due to the stroke.
 
There is not enough evidence to indicate whether glycine is effective for other uses.
 
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Glycine Supplement Information

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