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

prostate_cancer
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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Vitamin C : One of the essential nutrients that is required for optimum growth and development.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is necessary for the maintaining the supportive tissues of the body  including cartilage, bones, teeth and connective tissue. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that acts as an enzymatic cofactor in the synthesis of collagen, which holds cells information and helps to fight infections.

Functions of Vitamin C
As has been mentioned already, vitamin is the cofactor of the enzymes required in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the fibrous scleroprotein of the connective tissues like, tendons, bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels. This vitamin plays a crucial role in wound healing and the production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and serotonin. It is required for the formation of carnitine, which in turn is essential for transportation of fats to the mitochondria. It aids the liver to metabolize cholesterol to bile acids and thereby, prevent the formation of gallstones.


Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin, as it aids in the synthesis of collagen. It also facilitates the metabolism of fat by helping to produce carnitine. By preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, vitamin C can reduce the risk for atherosclerosis, where the arteries become narrow, due to accumulation of fatty deposits inside the arterial wall. By assisting the liver to metabolize cholesterol, it can help to maintain the healthy blood cholesterol level in the body. Apart from these, vitamin C can prevent the formation of carcinogens like, nitrosamine in foods and in the gastrointestinal tract, which can prove helpful in reducing the risk of several types of cancer.

Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C can protect the body from free radicals, and prevent a number of health problems including, heart disease, stroke and heart attack. When the level of free radicals in the body exceed the level of antioxidants, then the condition is termed as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can in turn, increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Deficiency of Vitamin C
Deficiency of vitamin C is known to cause scurvy disease, which is characterized by easy bleeding and bruising, especially of the gums, skin and mucous membrane, loosened teeth, diarrhea, pale skin, sunken eyes, joint pain and swelling, muscle pain and loss of collagen in bones, blood vessels and other connective tissues

Food Sources of Vitamin C


All citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C. 

Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Fruits Vegetables
Apple Artichoke
Apricot Asparagus
Asian pear Avocado
Babaco Basil
Banana Beets
Barbados Cherry Broccoli
Bilberry Brussels sprouts
Blackberry Cabbages
Blackcurrant Carrots
Blueberry Cauliflower
Breadfruit Celery
Cantaloupe Chicory root
Carambola Cloves
Casimiroa Cucumber
Cherimoya Green beans
Clementine Green paprika
Crabapple Green peas
Custard apple Kale Feijoa
Fig Mushroom
Grapefruit Onion
Grapes Parsley
Guava, tropical Peas
Jujube fruit Pickels
Kakadu Plum Radishes
Kiwifruit Sauerkraut
Lemonade Spinach
Longan Sweet potato
Loquat Turnip
Lychee Zucchini

Some More Fruits

  • Mango
  • Medlar
  • Melon, honeydew
  • Opuntia cactus
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Quince
  • Raspberry
  • Redcurrant
  • Rosehip
  • Sapodilla
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarillo, red
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon