Functional Medicine: Glycine
This Amino acid has been building a reputation as a sleep aid and anti-ageing product. It is one product I have used with myself and many patients to help them get a better night’s sleep. I first got introduced to it many years ago at an International conference where a supplement company was giving out their 3g sleep sachet. Not only did it give me a brilliant night’s sleep it was super sweet to taste. It is not expensive either so that’s also a clear winner in my eyes.
What does the science show? Most studies like to use 3g as the dose but the results are clear as compared to control group (no glycine)
- Subjects fall asleep quicker
- Enter deep sleep more quickly
- Improved memory the next day
- Less daytime sleepiness.
Glycine may be the working persons friend also. Other studies have backed up how it has long acting effects the next day. A 2012 study looked at sleep deprived subjects (who isn’t?) and mental performance the next day. The group who were given 3g Glycine outperformed the placebo group showing greater mental performance the next day.
How does glycine influence better sleep?
- Glycine might be an inhibitory neurotransmitter
- It increases levels of serotonin in the prefrontal cortex in rats and likely in humans (studies to be done)
- Glycine reduces core body temperature a process that happens naturally during sleep. (a quick note on this: many people find sleep more difficult because their rooms are too warm, or their partners are. We seem to think that 18 degrees is around optimal sleeping temperature
Anti – Ageing?
We are talking collagen here! Collagen being the main component of connective tissue. Found in large quantities in skin, tendons, ligaments, bone, blood vessels etc. Collagen has around 30% of glycine. How much do we need to really affect skin? It looks like up to 9g per day. That’s a big dose of a single Amino acid but studies show that even at 31g per day does not seem to cause any ill effects. Collagen products are expansive and so this may be a cheaper alternative.
I would like to see if you have used Glycine as a sleep aid? Does it consistently work for you or your clients? What other sleep aids are you lot using out there. Let’s get a conversation going.