Glycine is an amino acid, or a building block for protein. The body can make glycine on its own, but it is also consumed in the diet. A typical diet contains about 2 grams of glycine daily. The primary sources are protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, and legumes. Glycine can also be taken as a supplement.

Glycine is used for schizophrenia, stroke, and memory and thinking skills (cognitive function), but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.


Is a Form of:

Amino acid

Primary Functions:

Schizophrenia, stroke, memory and thinking skills

Also Known As:

Aminoacetic Acid, Athenon, Free Base Glycine, G Salt, Glicina

How Does It Work?

The body uses glycine to make proteins. Glycine is also involved in the transmission of chemical signals in the brain, so there is interest in trying it for schizophrenia and improving memory. Some researchers think glycine may have a role in cancer prevention because it seems to interfere with the blood supply needed by certain tumors.


  • Schizophrenia. Taking glycine by mouth along with conventional medicines seems to reduce certain symptoms of schizophrenia, called negative symptoms, in some people who don't respond to treatment with conventional medicines.
  • Stroke. Taking glycine under the tongue for 5 days may help to reduce brain damage due to a stroke that was caused by the blockage of a blood vessel (usually by a clot) in the brain.

Recommended Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For schizophrenia: Glycine has been used in doses ranging from 0.4-0.8 grams/kg daily in divided doses. It is usually started at 4 grams daily and increased by 4 grams per day until the effective dose is reached.


  • For stroke: 1 to 2 grams per day started within 6 hours after stroke onset has been used.

Glycine Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What are glycine supplements used for?

Glycine is used for treating schizophrenia, stroke, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and some rare inherited metabolic disorders. It is also used to protect kidneys from the harmful side effects of certain drugs used after organ transplantation as well as the liver from harmful effects of alcohol.

Is it safe to take glycine?

Glycine appears to be safe, even at doses of up to 9 grams for 3 days. People being treated with clozapine should avoid taking glycine. Also people who have had a stroke should not take glycine without the supervision of a doctor. A few people have reported nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach after taking glycine.

Does glycine make you sleepy?

Research shows oral glycine elevates serotonin, reduces symptoms of insomnia, and improves sleep quality. Other studies suggest it may help you bounce back to healthy sleep cycles after a period of disrupted sleep.

When should I take glycine?

It is recommended to take glycine with a meal before bed, as taking glycine on an empty stomach can sometimes cause nausea. Because of its sedative-like effects on sleep, it's more helpful before bed than in the morning or midday.

Who should not take glycine?

Glycine appears to be safe, even at doses of up to 9 grams for 3 days. But glycine's safety has not been fully tested or studied. Particular caution should be taken when considering glycine for young children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people with liver or kidney disease.

Which foods are high in glycine?

This amino acid is found in high-protein foods including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and legumes. A daily diet typically includes about 2 grams of glycine.

Is glycine bad for kidneys?

Glycine also ameliorated the raise in urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and partially restored renal glutathione levels in diabetic rats. Renal levels of the Nox4 mRNA and protein, a major source of renal oxidative stress, were suppressed by the treatment with glycine.

Does glycine help anxiety?

When an individual experiences anxiety or panic, NE is released and creates feelings of anxiety and panic. Glycine antagonizes the release of NE, thus mitigating anxiety and panic and feelings of over-arousal.

How long before bed should I take glycine?

The studies done in humans have usually used three grams of glycine. This was typically provided around 1 - 2 hours before bed. While glycine can be found in capsule form and bought over the counter, it may provide additional benefits when paired with other nootropic ingredients.

Can I take glycine everyday?

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. For comparison, the standard dose used in studies is about 3–5 grams per day.

Does glycine increase serotonin?

Among other things, serotonin is required to make the sleep hormone melatonin. Research shows oral glycine elevates serotonin, reduces symptoms of insomnia, and improves sleep quality.

Can you take glycine and magnesium together?

Magnesium + Glycinate are the The Perfect Pair

Magnesium glycinate is an organic magnesium salt created by combining magnesium with the amino acid, glycine. Combine one sleep-improving mineral salt with a sleep-improving amino acid and you get—a sleep improving supplement.

What are the side effects of glycine?

Glycine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Most people do not experience side effects, although there have been a few reports of gastrointestinal side effects such as soft stools, nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset.

Does glycine raise blood sugar?

Ingestion of glycine reduces blood glucose levels (18), and it was suggested that glycine was stimulating insulin secretion in humans. Although physiological glycine (300 μmol/L) only tended to increase insulin secretion, glycine at 800 μmol/L significantly increased insulin secretion.

What causes glycine deficiency?

Glycine encephalopathy is caused by changes (mutations) in the AMT, GLDC or GCSH genes which result in a deficiency of the enzyme that break-up the glycine. Diagnosis is based in the symptoms, the high glycine levels and the enzyme deficiency, as well as genetic testing. Inheritance is autosomal recessive.

Does glycine spike insulin?

The serum insulin concentration also was slightly elevated after the ingestion of glycine alone. When glycine was ingested with glucose, the plasma glucose area response was attenuated by >50% compared with the response after the ingestion of glucose alone.

How do I lower my glycine levels?

Sodium benzoate is used to reduce serum glycine levels. Benzoate binds to glycine in the body to form hippurate, which is excreted in the urine. This treatment reduces seizures and improves alertness. Plasma glycine levels must be monitored closely to ensure sodium benzoate is at an effective and non-toxic level.

Does glycine increase GABA?

Inhibition of GABA breakdown causes a rise in tissue GABA content and an increase in the activity of inhibitory neurons. About half of the inhibitory synapses in the spinal cord use glycine; most other inhibitory synapses use GABA.

Does glycine build muscle?

As an amino acid, glycine works as a protein builder in the body. In particular, glycine enables the production of collagen, a protein that is an essential component of muscles, tendon, skin, and bones. Collagen is the most commonly occurring protein in the body, comprising roughly a third of all body protein.

Clinical Studies