Suppression

Glycine

Category: Natural chemicals

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

 

Glycine is the smallest of the 20 amino acids commonly found in proteins, and indeed is the smallest possible. 

Glycine is considered “not essential to the human diet”, as it can be biosynthesized in the body from the amino acid serine. But as collagen contains about 35% glycine and the body entirely relies on collagen then calling glycine ‘non-essential’ does not convey the right impression at all. 

Furthermore,  glycine is the raw material of a number of other substances in the body.  It is used, for example, to make purines.  Two of the four deoxyribonucleotides and two of the four ribonucleotides, the respective building-blocks of deoxyribonucleic acid - DNA, and ribonucleic acid - RNA, are purines.  It is also a precursor to porphyrins, one of the best-known porphyrins is heme, the pigment in red blood cells.

Glycine is also particularly fascinating because it is, without transformation, a neurotransmitter.  It is described as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, and acts on the brainstem, spinal cord and retina, furthermore:  “Glycine is a required co-agonist along with glutamate for NMDA receptors. In contrast to the inhibitory role of glycine in the spinal cord, this behaviour is facilitated at the (NMDA) glutaminergic receptors which are excitatory

So although Glycine is called non-essential – it is actually essential!!

Non human body uses

 

Glycine can be manufactured and in its manufactured form has been used in pet foods and animal feed, in artificial sweeteners, in so called “food supplements” and “protein drinks”, and in drugs.  Some drugs use  glycine to ‘improve the gastric absorption of the drug.’  Examples of this include antacids and analgesics.  Again in its synthetic form it has also been used in antiperspirants, cosmetics and toiletries.

Food

Although we have an observation that uses Dr Duke’s analysis of the plants that contain Glycine, the list below also shows the other foods besides plants that contain the amino acid.  The list has been derived from the USDA Nutrients database.  The original list from which the following list was derived is hundreds of pages long and contains a vast amount of repetition.  We have tried to summarise it under simple headings to make the results easier to understand.

Description

Glycine (g)
Value Per

Pork, fresh, variety of meats, by-products and cuts, including bacon

4.40

Seeds, sesame , sunflower, safflower, pumpkin

various

Seaweed, spirulina, dried

3.10

Fish, cod, Atlantic, dried and salted

3.02

Mollusks, whelk , cuttlefish, octopus, scallops, clams, mussels

various

Veal liver

2.29

Game meat, bison, deer, rabbit, elk, muskrat

various

Beef, numerous cuts eg steak, chuck, brisket, ground/minced, blade, rib, sirloin, shank

various

Ostrich – various cuts

1.96

Chicken, skin on, various parts, whole or cuts

1.90

Turkey  - wings, meat and skin

1.89

Veal, various cuts

1.89

Soybeans

1.88

Herbs, parsley,

1.76

Lamb - shoulder, other cuts

1.74

Peanuts

1.69

Amaranth grain, uncooked

1.64

Egg, whole

1.63

Duck, domesticated, meat and skin, cooked, roasted

1.62

Goose

1.62

Salmon, sockeye, canned

1.61

Crustaceans, spiny lobster

1.59

Spices, mustard seed

1.59

Guinea fowl, meat and skin

1.57

Quail, meat and skin

1.54

Fish, Salmon, pink, canned

1.52

Fish, salmon, pink

1.51

Nuts, butternuts, almonds

1.51

Fish, sturgeon

1.50

Squab, (pigeon), meat and skin

1.49

Peanut butter

1.44

Fish, tuna, fresh

1.44

Crustaceans, crab, queen,

1.43

Fish, yellowtail

1.42

 

 

References and further reading

Photos by Brent McGregor

Related observations