Glycine In Collagen: How Does It Help The Brain?

Glycine in collagen is highly beneficial to the bones, tissues, muscles, and central nervous system, and as such is one of the most important non-essential amino acids in the body.

The human brain is one of the most diverse organs of the human body. It is like the headquarter of the human nervous system, which collects signals from the body’s sensory organs and outputs information to the muscles.

A healthy brain that maintains its functioning efficiently and for routine maintenance needs to produce various neurotransmitters for which it needs proteins as a fuel. While carbohydrates and some other nutrients are just as important as proteins for cellular repair, protein plays a key role in the method.

The protein that we are going to address in this article is collagen, and to gain a better understanding of the amino acid, glycine, that make up the protein.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein found in significant amounts inside the body responsible for around one third of the total protein composition. As a significant part of the connective tissue, it provides structural and functional support for the organs and other tissues. It also plays a key role in controlling your body’s functions, in particular; neurotransmissions and signalling, which can sustain damage repair and cob inflammation.

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Collagen can be obtained by eating essential nutrients such as Glycine, Proline, Vitamin C and Copper, which are also the key components of this protein.

Let’s take a look at what collagen is all about and how glycine is to help the protein work the body’s functions more effectively.

4 Types Of Collagen And Their Functions

Let’s look at the four main forms of collagen and their primary roles:

  • Type l Collagen: for structuring your skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
  • Type II Collagen: is the main collagenous component of cartilageand works as a cover for your joints and nerves.
  • Type III Collagen: The main component of the reticulate fibres acts as a support structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
  • Type IV Collagen: forms basal lamina, the epithelium-secreted layer of the basement membrane.
  • Type V Collagen: It is essential for fibrillation of types I and III collagen, and consequently for the optimal fibrillary formation and tissue quality. Type V collagen contributes to the bone matrix, corneal stroma, and the interstitial matrix of muscles, liver, lungs, and placenta.

Neurons in the brain are abundant in collagen, so you can effectively protect the brain by increasing the consumption of your collagen-based foods such as bone broths, chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits, berries, etc.

The three vital amino acids, Glycine, Proline and Hydroxyproline, make up the collagen triple-helical structure. Each amino acid has a particular role and makes up the characteristic structure of Gly-Pro-X, where X can be any amino acid.

What Is Glycine?

Glycine is a natural non-essential amino acid formed by the body. It is one of the 20 amino acids in the human body that synthesises proteins and thus plays a key role in the development of many other essential compounds and proteins. The chemical composition of glycine is a side chain with a Hydrogen atom, making it the only one that makes way into a three-stranded helix.

The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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Glycine is used for protein synthesis. It is also important for the healthy development of muscles, tissues and skeletons. Glycine is graded as non-essential amino acid since it can be synthesised from serine.

It acts as a neurotransmitter. Glycine stimulates and inhibits brain and central nervous system cells that influence your memory, mood, appetite, digestion, immune function, perception of pain, and sleep activity.

How Does Glycine In Collagen Work?

Glycine in Collagen is of high content. In fact, the major portion of the collagen in your body is glycine. This high content of glycine in collagen is essential for the stabilisation of the three-stranded helix of collagen. With the aid of glycine in collagen fibres, the molecules have a strong connection. We may also use glycine for sleep, since it is very good for safe sleep.

Glycine In Collagen promotes brain function
Image Credit: Ann Shippy MD

Glycine transmits chemical messages in the brain, which can aid with schizophrenia and good memory.

How Does Glycine In Collagen Help With Brain Functioning?

Glycine in collagen helps the functioning of the brain in so many ways as follows:

As A Neurotransmitter

Glycine is useful in performing many roles as a transmitter in the nervous system. When acting as a neurotransmitter, it helps to process motor and sensory signals that enable movement. This participating action of glycine is moderated by a strychnine-sensitive glycine receptor. This activation induces post-synaptic inhibitory potentials. Glycine is also released with GABA, an amino acid neurotransmitter.

Glycine also controls excitatory neurotransmission by boosting the action of glutamate in NMDA, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.

Regulates Your Sleep Efficiency

Glycine effectively reduces the temperature of your body, which improves the quality of your sleep. Glycine activates the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors present in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, SCN, leading to better thermoregulation and circadian rhythm. But the exact process is still under study and is being revised over time.

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Increases Serotonin Levels

Glycine tends to improve serotonin levels, thereby reducing the effects of insomnia and further enhancing sleep quality. Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter that controls your moods, sleep quality, pain stimuli, and soothes your mind.

Benefits in Schizophrenia Treatment

Glycine is beneficial for increasing NMDA receptor interference with neurotransmission. Glycine is well used in both long-term and acute administration, which is why it is extremely likely to be effective in treating neuroleptic-resistant schizophrenia.

Enhancing Memory

The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor roles include learning behaviours and memory tasks. The capacity of glycine to bind to the NMDA receptor complex increases its level of activity and enhances your learning and memory. This fact applies equally to both animals and humans.

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Protect Brain Against Alzheimer’s

As discussed earlier, collagen type IV helps to protect brain cells that are attacked by amyloid-beta proteins. Amyloid-beta is the type of amino acid that accumulates together to form a patch that is commonly found to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

It is effective at avoiding the onset of the disease at the very beginning.


Glycine has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Glycine receptors located in the central nervous system of the vertebrate, the spinal cord is evenly distributed in the tissues. The most influential feature of the role of glycine is the action it has to do with its assumed dissension to Norepinephrine NE.

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NE is a chemical divided in the body that functions as both a neurotransmitter and a stress hormone. This chemical is released when a person experiences anguish, which causes a sensation of fear. Glycine inhibits the release of NE, thereby weakening feelings of fear and panic.


While glycine is regarded as the simplest amino acid, it has a complex formation of functions and effects on the body. Although it may hinder certain neurotransmitters that are capable of improving certain psychological conditions, it may also activate neurotransmitters that trigger muscle seizures and potentially lethal brain hyperexcitability.

It is safe to use as a dietary supplement at sufficient doses, both for short-term and long-term health benefits, but the body will typically obtain the right amount of glycine from a balanced diet. It is highly beneficial to the bones, tissues, muscles, and central nervous system, and as such is one of the most important non-essential amino acids in the body.

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