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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Leucine : One of the branched­chain amino acids essential essential for growth, stimulates the production of muscle tissue, and protects the liver from the damaging affects of alcohol.

Leucine is an essential amino acid and one of the branched­chain amino acids (the others are isoleucine and valine). These work together to protect muscle and act as fuel. They promote the healing of bones, skin, and muscle tissue, and are recommended for those recovering from surgery. Leucine also lowers elevated blood sugar levels and aids in increasing growth hormone production.

Leucine, like its cousins isoleucine and valine, is a hydrophobic amino acid that is found as a structural element on the interior of proteins and enzymes. There appears to be no other significant metabolic role for these amino acids, but they are essential and because they are not synthesized by mammalian tissues, must be taken in the diet. Leucine ties glycine for the position of second most common amino acid found in proteins with a concentration of 7.5 percent on a molar basis compared to the other amino acids.

Function and Benefits of Leucine

  • Leucine is essential in regulating blood glucose level as well as in the growth and repair of bones, skin and muscles.
  • Leucine also prevents the break down of muscle proteins which occurs during trauma, stress of severe kind, during starvation or recovery from surgery.
  • Patients suffering from phenylketonuria can take leucine which has been found beneficial to them.
  • It also results in production of growth hormones and it also burns visceral fats which are located in the deeper layers of the body and are least responsive to dieting and exercises.
  • During times of starvation, stress, infection, or recovery from trauma, the body mobilizes leucine as a source for gluconeogenesis (the synthesis of blood sugar in the liver) to aid in the healing process.

Deficiency Symptoms of   Leucine

  • Deficiency of this nutrient is rare, since all protein foods contain it.
  • Hypoglycemia symptoms may appear if the diet is deficient and may include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, irritability, etc.

Rich Food Sources of Leucine

  • Animal sources: Meat, chicken, poultry, fish, sea foods, dairy products like cottage cheese etc
  • Plant sources: Whole lentils, brown rice, nuts, soy flour, whole wheat, beans, sesame seeds , peanuts and leafy greens.

Lysine : The essential amino acid that is a basic building block of all protein.

Lysine is an essential amino acid, and so cannot be manufactured in the body. It is therefore vital that adequate amounts be included in the diet. Lysine is an essential amino acid and is a basic building block of all protein. This nutrient was first isolated in 1889 from casein. Lysine has a net positive charge at physiological pH values, making it one of the three basic (with respect to charge) amino acids. This polar amino acid is commonly found on the surfaces of proteins and enzymes, and sometimes appears in the active site. Lysine is incorporated into proteins at the rate of 7 percent on a molar basis compared to the other amino acids.

It is needed for proper growth and bone development in children; it helps calcium absorption and maintains a proper nitrogen balance in adults. This amino acid aids in the production of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes, and helps in collagen formation and tissue repair. Because it helps to build muscle protein,

Since it helps with the building of muscle protein, it is useful for patients recovering from injuries and recovery after operations, and there might be use in lysine to help maintain healthy blood vessels. It also seems to assist in fighting herpes and cold sores.

Uses and Benefits of Lysine

  • If people are not taking proper diet or diet less of lysine , there are possibilities that they can face such problems as hair loss, inability to concentrate well, bloodshot eyes, growth retardation, problems in reproductive systems, irritability, weight loss and all the time feeling of fatigue and lethargy.
  • Some nutritionally oriented physicians and dentists recommend taking lysine during an outbreak of canker sores to speed healing.
  • The most promising application of lysine is its use in managing and preventing painful and unsightly herpes sores caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • It is also utilized in our body for producing antibodies, enzymes, hormones and collagen. It also plays role in wound heeling and repair. It maintains the nitrogen balance in the body. It increases the muscle mass and is therefore good food for those who are recovering from some injuries or from any surgery. It maintains the health of blood vessels.
  • It is required for growth and bone development in children, assists in calcium absorption and maintaining the correct nitrogen balance in the body and maintaining lean body mass. Furthermore it is needed to produce antibodies, hormones, enzymes, collagen formation as well as repair of tissue.
  • Taking supplemental L-lysine, together with vitamin C with bioflavonoids, can effectively fight or prevent herpes outbreaks, especially if foods containing the amino acid arginine are avoided.
  • Supplemental L-lysine also may decrease acute alcohol intoxication.

Deficiency Symptoms of Lysine

Deficiencies can result in anemia, bloodshot eyes, enzyme disorders, hair loss, an inability to concentrate, irritability, lack of energy, poor appetite, reproductive disorders, retarded growth, and weight loss

Rich Food Sources of Lysine

  • Animal Source: The animal sources of lysine are chicken, beef, milk, catfish, eggs, cheese etc.
  • Plant sources: Some of the plant sources are pulses, chickpea, kidney beans, yeasts, lentils, soybeans, potatoes, navy beans etc