Glycine : The amino acid that is necessary for central nervous system function and a healthy prostate.

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prostate_cancer (Photo credit: enochchoi)

Glycine  is a sweet-tasting, non-essential amino acid that can be produced from serine and threonine, which means that it is manufactured  in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet. Glycine was first isolated in 1820 from gelatin and is also found in good quantity in silk fibroin. Glycine is required to build protein in the body. It is required for the synthesis of nucleic acids, the construction of RNA as well as DNA and synthesis of bile acids and other amino acids in the body. Glycine is also found to be useful in assisting with the absorption of calcium in the body. It helps in retarding degeneration of muscles as it helps to supply extra creatine in the body. Glycine is important in the body’s manufacture of hormones responsible for a strong immune system.

 

 

 

 

Glycine is the simplest amino acid and is the only amino acid that is not optically active (it has no stereoisomers). This amino acid is essential for the biosynthesis of nucleic acids as well as of bile acids, porphyrins, creatine phosphate, and other amino acids. On a molar basis, glycine is the second most common amino acid found in proteins and enzymes being incorporated at the rate of 7.5 percent compared to the other amino acids. Glycine is also similar to gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamic acid in the ability to inhibit neurotransmitter signals in the central nervous system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only the L form of amino acids are constituents of protein. Glycine is an important part of GTF (glucose tolerance factor). The prostate gland produces fluid that contains glycine and researchers think that it may have a positive influence on normal prostate function.  It is present in considerable amounts in prostate fluid. Glycine may play a role in maintaining the health of the prostate, since a study of 45 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) found that 780 mg of glycine per day for two weeks and then 390 mg for the next two and a half months, taken in combination with equal amounts of the amino acids, alanine and glutamic acid, reduced symptoms of the condition. This effect has been reported by others. Glycine also enhances the activity of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain that are involved in memory and cognition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Function and Benefits of Glycine

  • Glycine is used by the nervous system and functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which makes it important to help prevent epileptic seizures
  • Glycine is also used in the treatment of manic depression and hyperactivity
  • Glycine also participates in the major energy producing biochemical processes in the body
  • This amino acid is also found to be produce in prostate fluid present in males so it is considered to be important for prostate normal functioning.
  • Glycine is the part of glutathione which is a coenzyme involved in many biochemical reactions. The important function of glutathione is that it helps in the maintenance of the cell integrity by protecting –SH group of hemoglobin, catalase and lipoproteins of the cell membrane. So glycine has an important antioxidant action.
  • Glycine is necessary for central nervous system function and a healthy prostate.

Deficiency Symptoms of Glycine

Few people are glycine deficient, in part because the body makes its own supply of the non-essential amino acids, and because it is abundant in food sources.

Rich Food Sources of Glycine

Glycine is mainly found in protein rich food.

  • Animal sources: Fish, dairy foods, meat, cheese etc
  • Plant sources: beans, soybean, spinach, pumpkin, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, burdock root, cucumber, kiwi , banana, etc
  • Glycine is a nonessential amino acid, which means that it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet.
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Alanine : The amino acid that helps the body to convert glucose, a simple sugar, into energy and also helps the body to eliminate excess toxins from the liver.

Alanine  or  or L-alanine was discovered in protein in 1875. The alpha-carbon in alanine is substituted with a levorotatory (l)-methyl group, making it one of the simplest amino acids with respect to molecular structure and is one of the most widely used in protein construction. In the liver alanine may be transaminated with alpha keto glutarate to produce glutamat. Also in the liver alanine may be converted to glucose.  Alanine is a non-essential amino acid and is used by the body to build protein. It is not essential to the diet, but can be made by the body from other substances.

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Alanine is vital for the production of protein, essential for proper function of the central nervous system and helps form neurotransmitters. Only the L form of amino acids are constituents of protein. An important source of energy for muscle tissue, the brain and central nervous system; strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies; helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids.

Function and Benefits of Alanine

  • Alanine is present in prostate fluid, and it may play a role in supporting prostate health. One study, involving 45 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, found that 780 mg of alanine per day for two weeks and then 390 mg for the next two and a half months, taken in combination with equal amounts of the amino acids glycine and glutamic acid, reduced symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia; this work has been independently confirmed.
  • Alanine plays a major role in the transfer of nitrogen from peripheral tissue to the liver.
  • It also guards against the buildup of toxic substances that are released in the muscle cells when muscle protein is broken down to quickly meet energy needs, such as happens with aerobic exercise.
  • Epstein-Barr virus and chronic fatigue have been associated with excessive alanine levels and low levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine.
  • One form of alanine, beta alanine, is a constituent of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and coenzyme A, a vital catalyst in the body.
  • Research has found that for people with insulin-dependent diabetes, taking an oral dose of L-alanine can be more effective than a conventional bedtime snack in preventing
  •  helping in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids
  • is required for the metabolism of tryptophan
  •  strengthening the immune system by producing antibodies
  • in the case of hypoglycaemia, alanine has been used as a source for the production of glucose in order to stabilise blood sugar levels over lengthy periods
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Deficiency Symptoms of Alanine

Since alanine is synthesized in the body and is also provided by most foods that are sources of protein, deficiencies are unlikely to occur. However, it may occur in people that have a diet that is highly deficient in protein.

Rich Food Sources of Alanine

  • As with the other amino acids , excellent sources of alanine include meat and poultry , fish , eggs , and dairy products .
  • Some protein-rich vegetarian sources  foods also supply alanine which include avocado, beans,  bran, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, corn, legumes, mushrooms(white, raw), nuts, seeds, watercress, whole grains and sea vegetable like  spirulina and laver

Source: http://orthomolecular.org/nutrients/proteins.shtml