Glycine deficiency isn’t a widely discussed topic, and for good reason: we’re not supposed to be deficient in non-essential nutrients. In fact, the whole deal with non-essential nutrients is that our bodies make them on their own so our pretty little heads can rest easy about getting enough.
Well, it looks like glycine may have bent the rules a bit.
Contrary to popular belief, a paper by Meléndez-Hevia dropped a bombshell on us: our body’s glycine production isn’t tied to our actual needs.
This means that most of us are likely running on a glycine deficiency; therefore, the physiological processes dependent on this amino may also be suffering.
Why should you care?
This amino acid might just be the secret weapon we need to slow down the aging process.
Why Glycine Matters
Glycine, a non-essential amino acid, plays a pivotal role in synthesizing collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies. Unfortunately, the paper mentioned above by Meléndez-Hevia showed that our bodies don’t make enough glycine to keep up with our collagen needs.
Therefore, while your body can make glycine on its own (hence, its “non-essential” status), the truth is that getting enough glycine in your diet may be the key to lasting collagen production.
Which also means dietary glycine could have a heavy hand in slowing down the aging process.
Collagen is the superstar behind the health and vitality of your hair, skin, nails, joints, cardiovascular system, bones, and muscles. When those systems start deteriorating, the signs of aging get kicked into high gear.
But enough with the high-level chit-chat; let’s get down to it and talk about what glycine does in your body via its relationship with collagen and how getting more of it may help to turn back the clock.
Glycine: Your Anti-Aging Amino Acid
Hair, Skin, and Nails
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and is the primary component of our hair, skin, and nails. As we age, our natural collagen production decreases (we lose about 1% every year after 20), leading to wrinkles, brittle nails, and lackluster hair. Sound familiar?
Well, with adequate glycine intake, you may be able to shift the tides and keep your collagen production steady. Studies show that healthy levels of collagen can promote youthful-looking skin, may support hair growth, and could strengthen nails and protect against brittleness.
Mobility is a cornerstone of optimal health, and if you want to remain mobile – it’s all about joint health. Collagen plays a crucial role in the health and resilience of our joints due to its incorporation into your cartilage. When cartilage breaks down it can create bone-on-bone friction, resulting in joint pain, mobility issues, and potentially serious injury.
Ensuring that your collagen levels remain healthy gives your joints the nourishment they need to stay flexible and pain-free.
Bone health becomes increasingly important as we age, especially once we get into our 50s and 60s. Healthy bone mineral density is crucial if you want to keep moving your body – which in turn is vital for overall health and wellbeing.
Simply put, caring for your bones is an absolute must if you want to live a long, healthy, and enjoyable life.
Unfortunately, along with the loss of collagen as we age, our bones also begin to break down as the years go on.
Studies show, however, that collagen supplementation can increase bone mineral density, which is a crucial factor in preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for people of all ages. While we sleep, our bodies rejuvenate, detox, and reset. Without this downtime, your body wouldn’t have the energy it takes to carry out its anti-aging processes.
Unfortunately, sleep issues are incredibly common these days — and they hit the older generations the hardest.
Interestingly, however, it appears that glycine may be your secret weapon to getting a good night’s sleep. While the exact mechanism is unclear, some evidence suggests that glycine helps drop your body temperature while inducing the non-REM sleep phase .
How To Get More Glycine In Your Diet
By now, you’re probably wondering how to get more of this anti-aging nutrient into your diet. The best sources of glycine will be animal products like chicken, meat, and seafood. You can also find glycine in some nuts and seeds if you’re not a meat eater.
That said, one of the most effective ways to get more glycine in your diet is through bone broth protein. Bone broth protein is incredibly rich in glycine and provides the essential amino acids to boost collagen synthesis.
But here’s the deal: in the world of supplements, not all products are created equal. Many bone broth proteins on the market are sourced from animals raised on factory farms, exposed to pesticides, and given antibiotics. This isn’t what you want to put in your body. Quality sourcing is paramount. After all, you’re not just what you eat; you’re what you absorb.
After diving deep into the research and personal experimentation, I’ve landed on Paleovalley’s grass-fed bone broth protein as my go-to. Why? It’s sourced from 100% grass-fed cows, ensuring a product free from harmful chemicals and rich in beneficial nutrients. In the world of bone broth proteins, Paleovalley stands out as the gold standard. If you’re serious about biohacking your way to optimal health, this is the protein you want in your arsenal.
While you may assume that you’re meeting your essential nutrient needs, it’s time we rethink what the terms “essential” and “non-essential” mean.
The field of nutrition research is constantly evolving, which means our views and beliefs about what our bodies need always have to remain flexible and open.
Are you getting enough glycine to meet your body’s demands? If you have any doubts, it’s never too late to start incorporating a high-quality bone broth.
Click here to grab Paleovalley’s grass-fed and finished Bone Broth Powder today for 15% off your first order.
- Meléndez-Hevia, Enrique, et al. “A weak link in metabolism: the metabolic capacity for glycine biosynthesis does not satisfy the need for collagen synthesis.” Journal of biosciences 34 (2009): 853-872.
- Hexsel, Doris, et al. “Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 16.4 (2017): 520-526.
- Al-Atif, Hend. “Collagen supplements for aging and wrinkles: a paradigm shift in the fields of dermatology and cosmetics.” Dermatology practical & conceptual 12.1 (2022).
- Hwang, Su Bin, Hyeon Ju Park, and Bog-Hieu Lee. “Hair-growth-promoting effects of the fish collagen peptide in human dermal papilla cells and C57BL/6 mice modulating Wnt/?-Catenin and BMP signaling pathways.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23.19 (2022): 11904.
- Verstappen, S. M. M., et al. “Radiographic joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis is associated with differences in cartilage turnover and can be predicted by serum biomarkers: an evaluation from 1 to 4 years after diagnosis.” Arthritis research & therapy 8 (2006): 1-9.
- König, Daniel, et al. “Specific collagen peptides improve bone mineral density and bone markers in postmenopausal women—a randomized controlled study.” Nutrients 10.1 (2018): 97.
- Kawai, Nobuhiro, et al. “The sleep-promoting and hypothermic effects of glycine are mediated by NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.” Neuropsychopharmacology 40.6 (2015): 1405-1416.