Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Glycine: Astounding Role for Hormones and Sleep

Glycine is a vital amino acid that is beneficial to the body. This amino acid has received no attention….until now.

Do you feel:

  • Inflammation?
  • Hormone imbalances?
  • Weight gain?
  • Brain fog?
  • Stomach pain, burning, or aching 1-4 hours after eating?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then you might be experiencing low glycine levels in your body.



Glycine is a vital amino acid that is beneficial to the body. It helps support the gastrointestinal system, the neurological system, the musculoskeletal system, and the body’s metabolism from harmful factors that can cause the human body to malfunction. Glycine is even a neurotransmitter and can help increase glutathione in the brain by providing anti-inflammatory effects. Glycine provides a sweet taste when it is consumed in the body. Even though glycine has a crucial role in the human body, the amino acid has received little to no attention until recently.

The fantastic thing about glycine is that it is a “non-essential” amino acid. What this means is that the body can make glycine by itself and distribute it to the necessary systems that need glycine. This is different from the “essential” amino acids since some nutrients and vitamins must come from the food diet themselves. When there is a mild deficiency of glycine, it is not harmful to the body; however, when there is a severe shortage of glycine, it can lead to immune response failure, slow body growth, and abnormal nutrient metabolism.

Glycine for The Brain

Since glycine is a neurotransmitter for the brain, it composes both excitatory and inhibitory capacities. For the excitatory capacity function, glycine serves as the antagonist for NMDA receptors for the brain. For inhibitory capacities, glycine helps increase the neurotransmitter serotonin. Studies show that serotonin is the ancestor of melatonin. When the levels are increased due to glycine supplements, the beneficial factors it causes can help reduce insomnia and provide better sleep quality.

Glycine on Sleep

Despite being a massive impact on serotonin, glycine has been known to be used as a therapeutic option for individuals to improve their sleep quality as a novel and safe approach.  Studies show that glycine can increase the blood flow to extremities by reducing the body’s core temperature, which is an important signal to initiate sleep. When this happens, glycine can increase a person’s time when they are in REM sleep, providing the person to have a good night’s sleep. Further research shows that glycine can inhibit the stimulatory orexin neurons that are responsible for arousal and energy homeostasis, which is critical and can induce non-REM sleep or even night waking.

Glycine’s Cognitive Effects

There are many beneficial cognitive effects that glycine has to offer. Research shows that the beneficial effect of glycine can help improve episodic memory in young and middle-aged adults. This can be beneficial for patients who have schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Additional research also shows that patients who have Alzheimer’s disease use glycine as energy production for their brains.

Glycine Osteoprotective Effects

There is even more information on glycine supplementation, providing estrogen-like osteoprotective effects for menopausal women. The research shows that glycine helps decreased weight gain and providing an increase in vaginal weight gain caused by ovariectomy. Many healthcare providers recommend their female patients that have menopause to use glycine in their diet.

More Glycine Effects

Since glycine is a non-essential amino acid and a neurotransmitter for the central nervous system, this supplement can help supple muscle, bone, and connective tissue with collagen. Glycine has a small R group, which forms a triple helix structure that makes up of tropocollagen. In the body, 33% of all collagen is composed of glycine. Collagen levels in the body can decrease naturally due to anyone getting old. When this happens, inflammatory symptoms like arthritis occur. Researchers hypothesize that supplemental doses of glycine can strengthen joints and prevent reactive arthritis by blunting cytokine release by increasing chloride influx in the body.

Glycine is one of the three amino acids that can help aid the production of glutathione for the human body. Since this amino acid is a scavenger antioxidant, it will oppose proinflammatory signals from hydrogen peroxide. Studies show that glycine supplementation plays a vital role in balancing the redox reactions caused by metabolic syndrome in the human body and protecting patients from oxidative damage. There is even more research as a study stated that glycine has a vital role in the metabolism and nutrition of mammals and humans. Since glycine protects from inflammation and has fantastic health benefits for the body, when there are decreased levels of glycine in the body, it can be linked to metabolism-related disorders like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Glycine provides cytoprotective effects on the liver and gastrointestinal tract by conjugating bile acids. This is crucial because glycine plays a role in helping lipids to be digested and lipid-soluble vitamins to be absorbed in the body. In alcohol-induced hyperlipidemia, studies have shown that glycine can reduce alcohol levels in the bloodstream while also retaining the membrane integrity by reducing lipid levels. Glycine can even protect the stomach and intestines from damages caused by gastrointestinal disorders. Since glycine can maintain enterocyte integrity and prevent apoptosis, its anti-inflammatory effects can fight oxidative stress. They can provide the requirements to the intestines and the gut in the body.


Glycine is a vital amino acid that provides anti-inflammatory properties for not only the body’s metabolism but also helps the gastrointestinal system. With more and upcoming research about glycine, it is essential for this amino acid to continue to provide outstanding effects to the human body and to make sure that it functions properly. When harmful factors start entering the body, or there is a glycine deficiency, it can cause the body to malfunction. So incorporating glycine-rich foods in the daily diet can help alleviate the symptoms gradually. Some products are beneficial for the body since they help support the immune system and make sure the body is functioning.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


Bannai, Makoto, et al. “Oral Administration of Glycine Increases Extracellular Serotonin but Not Dopamine in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111), 17 Mar. 2011, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2010.02181.x.

Díaz-Flores, Margarita, et al. “Oral Supplementation with Glycine Reduces Oxidative Stress in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome, Improving Their Systolic Blood Pressure.” Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2013, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24144057.

File, S E, et al. “Beneficial Effects of Glycine (Bioglycin) on Memory and Attention in Young and Middle-Aged Adults.” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 1999, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10587285.

Griffin, Jeddidiah WD, and Patrick C Bradshaw. “Amino Acid Catabolism in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain: Friend or Foe?” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2017, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5316456/.

Kawai, Nobuhiro, et al. “The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine Are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.” Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, May 2015, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4397399/.

Kim, Min-Ho, et al. “Estrogen-like Osteoprotective Effects of Glycine in Vitro and in Vivo Models of Menopause.” Amino Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2016, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26563333.

Li, X et al. “Dietary Glycine Prevents Peptidoglycan Polysaccharide-Induced Reactive Arthritis in the Rat: Role for Glycine-Gated Chloride Channel.” Infection and Immunity, American Society for Microbiology, Sept. 2001, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC98707/.

McCarty, Mark F, et al. “Dietary Glycine Is Rate-Limiting for Glutathione Synthesis and May Have Broad Potential for Health Protection.” The Ochsner Journal, The Academic Division of Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 2018, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855430/.

Razak, Meerza Abdul, et al. “Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Hindawi, 2017, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350494/.

Ross, Krista Anderson. “Glycine: Another Tool for the Hormone and Sleep Balancing Kit.” Doctor’s Data Specialty Testing Clinical Laboratory, 3 Dec. 2019, http://www.doctorsdata.com/resources/uploads/newsletters/Glycine’s-Role-in-Sleep-and-Hormone-Balancing.html.


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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Rehabilitation Systems for all ages.

As an extension to effective rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities premier doctors, therapist and trainers to provide high-level competitive athletes the possibilities to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities.

We’ve been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last three decades allowing us to restore our patients’ health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs.

Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.

With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age or disability.

Join us in improving your health for you and your family.

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    The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 Read More…

    Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*

    email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
    phone: 915-850-0900
    Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

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