Is it Safe to take Glycine supplements? Everything you need to know

Last updated on May 6th, 2023 at 11:29 am

5 minutes read.  

glycine supplem

 Glycine is one of the non-essential amino acids that can be synthesized by our body and is used to make body protein.

However, it can also be gotten from diet and also come in the form of dietary supplements.

In as much as your body can make glycine, it may be necessary for you to consume it in the form of a supplement on some occasions and for reasons.

But before you consume, it’s very important to understand what you want to put inside your body. That’s why I wrote this article. Feel free to skip ahead.

What’s a Glycine supplement?

Glycine supplement is an amino acid supplement that contains glycine as the chief amino acid component in it. Its main amino acid component is glycine.

Glycine is the smallest among the “non-essential amino acids”, meaning your body can naturally synthesize it on its own to make protein.

However, for some reasons or in some health situations, it may be necessary you obtain glycine in the form of a supplement.

Glycine supplements can come in the form of powder, or pills.

It can also be found in collagen supplements as the primary amino acid.

Health Benefits of Glycine Supplement

Here are the seven health benefits of taking Glycine supplements.

1.May Improve Sleep Quality

If you’re struggling to have a relaxed quality sleep at night glycine supplement is a good option for you. (1)

Though there are other ways you could induce a deep sleep at night such as taking caffeinated beverages/alcohol a few hours before bed or other sleeping pills among all glycine, supplements may be safer considering the fact that it’s a protein component. (2)

Glycine supplement is an amino acid that has a calming effect on your brain and could help you fall and stay asleep by lowering your core body temperature

Research carried out on people with sleeping issues demonstrated that taking 3 grams of glycine supplement before bed decreases the time it takes to fall asleep, improves sleep quality, reduced daytime sleeping, and improves cognition. (3, 4)

Hence Glycine supplements could be a good alternative prescription for sleep and cognition issues.

2. Decreases Oxidative Stress

 Glycine is one of the three amino acids used by your body to produce glutathione a powerful antioxidant that helps your cells to fight against free radicals that normally cause oxidative stress and damage cells which had led to many life-threatening diseases.

This is more important at an older age because as you get older, your body loses its capacity to naturally synthesize glutathione but this can be restored through taking amino acids supplements like glycine and cysteine. (5, 6, 7)

3. Improves Brain and Muscle Performance

Glycine plays an important role in the synthesis of creatine.

Creatine is an amino acid that does not occur in protein but is found in the muscle tissue of your body both in a free state and as phosphocreatine that supplies energy for muscle contraction.

As a result, creatine is often used by athletes and bodybuilding because it also comes in the form of a supplement and can be consumed separately. (16)

Taking glycine supplements will provide your muscle with enough creatine. (8)

Studies had shown that when combined with resistance training, supplementing with creatine increases muscle size, strength, and power. (9, 10, 12, 13)

Creatine also provides energy for your brain and improves cognition. (11, 15)

Research had also confirmed the efficacy of creatine on bone strength, brain function, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. (14, 17, 18)

4. Decreases Risk of Heart Attack

Research on a total of 4109 people with chest pain, showed that a high level of glycine in the blood through Glycine supplement intake decreases the chances of heart attack and heart-related disease in 7.4 years follow up. (22)

Many other studies had also supported the evidence of glycine supplementation efficacy on atherosclerosis-a biochemical condition that leads to high blood pressure. (19, 20, 21, 22)

Glycine supplement was also linked to a lower risk of obesity. (44)

Glycine achieves its biochemical function by improving your body’s ability to use nitric oxide, an important molecule that increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure. (23)

Consuming too much-added sugar through food and drinks can raise blood glucose levels, and increase levels of fat deposits in the arteries which contributed to a fat belly, obesity, and high blood pressure. (24, 25)

All of these are linked to several heart diseases.


5. May Protect Your Liver from Alcohol-Induced Damage

There are three primary types of alcohol-induced liver damage.

Fatty liver: A buildup of fat inside your liver, increasing its size.

Alcoholic hepatitis: Caused by inflammation of the liver resulting from long-term, excessive drinking.

Alcoholic cirrhosis: The final phase of alcoholic liver disease, occurring when the liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar tissue. (26)

Many researches and clinical evidence had linked alcoholism to many liver diseases.

Understand that alcoholism doesn’t only mean when you overdrinking alcohol and miss behave.

Related: Is it ok take a Phenylalanine supplement?

As long as you take alcoholic drinks whether natural or industrially purified for a long period of time chances are that you may develop any liver-related disorder.

Although the way our body system responds to biochemical reactions differs.

The good news is, scientific research had suggested that supplementing with glycine may reduce the harmful effects of alcohol on your liver since it prevents inflammation.

Also, clinical evidence had shown that moderate alcohol-induced liver damage can be reversed by abstaining from alcohol, and promising findings that supplementing with glycine may improve the recovery process.

Intake of Glycine supplements has been shown to reduce concentrations of alcohol in the blood of alcohol-fed rats by stimulating the metabolism of alcohol in the stomach rather than the liver, which prevented the development of fatty liver and alcoholic cirrhosis. (27)

In addition, glycine may also help reverse liver damage caused by excessive alcohol intake in animals.

Research in rats with alcohol-induced liver damage, that liver cell health returned to baseline 30% faster in a group fed a glycine-containing diet for two weeks compared to the group with no glycine (control group).  (28)

Note that studies on the effects of glycine supplements on alcohol-induced liver damage are limited to animals and cannot be translated to humans until well-proven by research.  (29, 30, 31)

6. May Aid People with Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can lower the levels of glycine in the body.

It’s a health condition whereby the insulin secretion and action are impaired- meaning your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or that it doesn’t respond properly to the insulin it makes, (32),

The job of Insulin is to decrease your blood sugar levels by signaling its uptake into cells for energy or storage.

Evidence shows that supplementing with glycine increased insulin response in people without diabetes, this suggested that glycine supplements may improve impaired insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes. (33, 34, 35)

Higher levels of glycine are associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, even after accounting for other factors that are associated with the condition, such as lifestyle.  (36, 37)

Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from supplementing with glycine, though research is too preliminary to make any specific recommendations.

If you have type 2 diabetes, the best way to reduce your insulin resistance is through weight loss by means of diet and exercise. (38)

7. May Protect Against Muscle Loss

Glycine may reduce muscle wasting, a condition that occurs with aging, malnutrition, and when your body is under stress, such as with cancer or severe burns. (39)

Muscle wasting leads to a harmful reduction in muscle mass and strength, which declines functional status and can complicate other potentially present diseases

The amino acid leucine has been studied as a treatment for muscle wasting, as it strongly inhibits muscle breakdown and enhances muscle building. (40)

However, several changes in the body during muscle-wasting conditions impair the effectiveness of leucine in stimulating muscle growth.

Interestingly, in mice with muscle-wasting conditions, such as cancer, research has shown that glycine was able to stimulate muscle growth whereas leucine was not. (41)

Therefore, glycine holds promise for improving health by protecting muscles from wasting during various wasting conditions. (42)

Related: What are the Health Benefits of Dietary Supplement? Risk and Side Effects

Still, more research on humans is needed.

Is okay to add a Glycine supplement to my diet?   


Is quite ok to add glycine supplements into your diet such as food and drinks (Coffee and tea, Soups, Oatmeal, Protein shakes, Yogurt, and Pudding). (43)

 Glycine supplements come in the form of capsules or powders with a sweet taste, if you don’t like taking pills, the powder form easily dissolves in water and drinks. 

In fact, the name glycine was derived from the Greek word for “sweet”

What are the food sources of glycine?

Glycine is found in varying amounts in legumes, fish, dairy products, and meat, especially in tough cuts like the chuck, round, and brisket.

You can also get glycine from gelatin, a substance made from collagen that’s normally added to various food products to improve consistency.

You can find glycine abundantly as a dietary supplement, which is why I wrote this article. (44, 45).

I believe you’re getting the value needed.  Follow me to the end.

What’s the difference between a Glycine supplement and a Collagen supplement?

Collagen is a structural protein that contains high amounts of glycine. In fact, every third to fourth amino acid in collagen is glycine, therefor collagen supplements can supply your body high amount of glycine. (46, 44)

Simply say glycine is the main amino acid in collagen- the main structural protein of connective tissue, such as bone, skin, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. (47)

Collagen is a fibril protein that provides strength for your muscles, skin, cartilage, bones, and ligaments.

Supplementing with collagen has been shown to benefit skin health, relieve joint pain, and prevent bone loss. (48, 49)

This is likely more efficient because glycine competes with other amino acids for absorption when it’s taken independently which may reduce its absorption rate in the body than when it’s bound to other amino acids, as in the case of collagen. (50, 51)

However, your body uses glycine as a main base amino acid to produce collagen. Any of which is good, choose the one you want to take depending on how your body system responds to it. 

Is it safe to take the Glycine supplements?

Supplementing with glycine is safe in appropriate amounts.

Studies have used up to 90 grams of glycine per day over several weeks without serious side effects. (52)

The standard dose used in studies was about 3 to 5 grams per day.


It’s important to carefully read the label that comes with the supplement to get the actual dose the manufacturer suggested. Though the typical dosage of glycine supplement is about 2-5g of glycine. Otherwise, seek prescription advice from your health care. (53)

Related: What’s Alkaptonuria? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment 

Health Risks and Side effect

Glycine is generally considered safe for everyone in appropriate amounts.

However, glycine may react negatively with some medications, so it’s important you consult your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet. (54, 55)


Glycine supplement is a dietary supplement that supplies your body with the amino acid “glycine“.  It’s readily available in form of pills and powder. The powder form can easily dissolve in water which makes it easy to add to your favorite drinks and some foods.

However, it’s important to talk with your medical professional before taking any supplement and carefully read the label before anything.

Collagen supplements are also an efficient way to boost your glycine intake. Both methods are a safe way to get more of this important nutrient.

I hope you get the value worth your time. I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment if you like this post. So tell me your story about dietary supplements. Have you taken any supplements for a long period of time? What was your experience like? Feel free to share with me in the comment below.


The content provided in living Good Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good Blog takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

Spread the message