March 21, 2017


Other name(s):

aminoacetic acid

Unsubstantiated claims

Please note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been substantiated through scientific studies.

Glycine may help treat schizophrenia. But studies are conflicting. Taking glycine by mouth may reduce symptoms of the condition in people who are resistant to conventional medicines.  

Glycine may also help reduce pain and improve healing of leg ulcers. Applying a cream that contains glycine, l-cysteine, and dl-threonine may work.

Glycine may help people suffering from a stroke. Taking it under your tongue within six hours after the onset of acute ischemic stroke may help protect you. It may also help treat depression and hyperactivity. Glycine may also help treat malnutrition due to drug addiction.

Recommended intake

Amino acids (AAs) are available as individual AAs or in AA combinations. They also come as part of multi-vitamins, proteins, and food supplements. The forms include tablets, fluids, and powders.

Note that by eating enough protein in your diet, you get all of the amino acids you need.

There are no conditions that increase how much glycine you need.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can decrease how efficient your metabolism is. It can also make your kidneys work harder. In children, taking single amino acid supplements may also cause growth problems. It may also cause seizures and developmental delays.

You should not take high doses of individual amino acids for long periods of time.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use glycine supplements.


March 21, 2017


Clinical Spectrum of Non-Ketotic Hyperglycemia (Glycine Encephalopathy) in Children. Yardi, N. Neurology Asia. 2004, issue 9, edition S1, p. 100.

Reviewed By:  

Poulson, Brittany, RD, CDE,Wilkins, Joanna, R.D., C.D.