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Glycine is an amino acid that is a major part of the pool of amino acids which aid in the synthesis of non essential amino acids in the body. Glycine can be easily formed in the liver or kidneys from Choline and the amino acids Threonine and Serine. Likewise, Glycine can be readily converted back into Serine as needed. Glycine is also one of the few amino acids that can spare glucose for energy by improving glycogen storage. Glycine is also readily converted into creatine, which is utilized to make RNA and DNA.

Glycine is required by the body for the maintenance of the central nervous system, and in men glycine plays an essential role in maintaining healthy prostate functions.   Glycine also plays an important function in the immune system were it is used in the synthesis of other non-essential amino acids.

Studies have shown that glycine can be beneficial in cases of chronic spasticity, including multiple sclerosis, and its inhibitory action can help to prevent epileptic seizures. Glycine has also been used in treating manic psychological states and has a calming effect on the brain. Glycine can reduce gastric acidity, and in higher doses, can stimulate growth hormone release and contribute to wound healing .

Glycine comprises up to a third of the collagen in the human body and is required for the synthesis of the porphyrin core of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in the blood. Glycine is also a constituent of a vital bile acid, and together with cysteine and glutamic acid, makes up glutathione, a major liver detoxifier and
free radical fighter.