Henri Braconnot discovered Glycine in 1820 that became the first instance in which a pure amino acid was received from a protein (gelatin) by acidic hydrolysis.

Chemical Structure of Glycine

Structure of Glycine

Identifiers and properties of Glycine

IUPAC Name: 2-Aminoacetic acid
Symbol: Three-letter code - Gly. One-letter code - G
Molecular Weight (Molar Mass): 75.0666 g/mol
Molecular Formula (Structural Formula): C2H5NO2
Canonical SMILES: C(C(=O)O)N
Isomeric SMILES: C(CC(=O)N)[C@@H](C(=O)O)N
CAS Number: 56-40-6
MDL Number: MFCD00008131
Melting point: 233 °C
RNA codons: GGU, GGC, GGA, GGG
Solubility in water: 25 g/L (25 °C); pKa - 2,34; pKb - 9,60
Rf value in n-butanol/acetic acid/water = 12:3:5 - 0.26
2D Molfile: Get the molfile
3D PDB file: Get the PDB file
Other names: Aminoethanoic acid; Glycocoll; Amino acetic acid

What are the functions of the Glycine?

This amino acid is the first of all necessary ones for a healthy digestive system, because it helps regulate the synthesis of the bile acid utilized to help you digest fats. Glycine also plays a role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system, particularly in the spinal cord, in the brainstem, and in the retina. This amino acid is essential for the development and quality of human skeletal muscles, tissues, and structural integrity, as well as for the synthesis of nucleic acids.

Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, implying that our bodies are able to produce it. Like many other amino acids, this one is used to help create muscle tissues and convert glucose into energy. In addition, it is also vital for maintaining healthy central nervous and digestive systems. The latest researches showed that it can also provide protection against some types of cancer through antioxidants.

Benefits of Glycine

Glycine is utilized in human body to help construct normal DNA and RNA strands, which are basically a genetic material necessary for proper cellular function and formation. This amino acid helps prevent the breakdown of muscles, because it can boost your body's levels of creatine - a compound helping build muscle mass. Aside from the muscles, high concentrations of this amino acid are also found in the skin and other connective tissues. For example, nearly one third of a collagen, which is responsible for keeping the skin and connective tissues firm and flexible, consists of Glycine. In other words, without this amino acid your body would not be able to repair damaged tissues.

Another benefit of Glycine is that it is essential for the central nervous system functioning. According to some researches, it is able to help inhibit the neurotransmitters causing seizure activity, hyperactivity, as well as manic (bipolar) depression. Moreover, Glycine can be converted to another neurotransmitter to help manage schizophrenia. You can find Glycine in various high-protein foods like beans, fish, meat, milk, and cheese.

Food sources

Glycine is found in various protein-containing foods. Here are some food sources that contain glycine along with approximate amounts per serving.

Meat and Poultry. Chicken: A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of roasted chicken breast provides about 0.7 grams of glycine. Pork: A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked pork contains approximately 0.9 grams of glycine.

Fish. Salmon: A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked salmon contains around 0.9 grams of glycine. Tuna: Tuna is also a source of glycine, with approximately 0.8 grams per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving.

Dairy Products. Milk: One cup of milk provides about 0.1 grams of glycine. Yogurt: A typical 6-ounce serving of yogurt contains around 0.7 grams of glycine.

Eggs. One large egg contains roughly 0.1 grams of glycine.

Legumes. Soybeans: A 1-cup serving of cooked soybeans contains approximately 1.3 grams of glycine. Lentils: A 1-cup serving of cooked lentils provides about 0.4 grams of glycine.

Bone Broth. Homemade or store-bought bone broth is a rich source of glycine. The exact content can vary, but it can provide several grams of glycine per cup.

Gelatin. Foods containing gelatin, such as gelatin desserts or collagen supplements, are high in glycine. The glycine content varies based on the specific product.

Dense Protein Sources. Whey Protein: One scoop (around 30 grams) of whey protein powder can provide 0.5-1 gram of glycine.

Pork Skin (Cracklings). A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of pork cracklings can provide approximately 1 gram of glycine.

Cabbage Family Vegetables. Spinach: A 1-cup serving of cooked spinach contains around 0.2 grams of glycine.

It's important to note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as cooking methods, specific varieties of food, and preparation techniques. If you have specific health concerns or conditions that may require additional glycine, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.