Click here to view the prezi.
Click to listen to the audio…
When you’re insulin resistant, that is, you’ve got metabolic syndrome, pretty much every chemical in the body is NOT QUITE RIGHT. Some are up. Some are down. Few are actually at physiologically NORMAL levels.
Traditionally the focus is on the big guns.
- And cholesterol
In this series, we take a look at some of the other players.
Who they are, what they’re up to and how they’re part of the state of insulin resistance.
Glycine in insulin resistant
Now, glycine is DOWN, which in and of itself is a bit odd.
You see glycine, is one of the 20 amino acids, that are the building blocks of protein. Now when you are insulin resistant, amino acid levels run high, NOT low.
So glycine really is an exception to the rule….
So what do we know about glycine ?
Well when it comes to amino acids, glycine is the least sophisticated, of them ALL. It’s got the pre-requisites to be an amino acid i.e. it has a carboxy and amine group, but the R group is NOTHING fancy. It’s a hydrogen.
Now thanks to this simplicity, it is easy to make.
We have half a dozen different ways, that we can make it. And of course, when we eat protein, we eat it.
In fact, glycine is considered to be a non-essential amino acid.
This just means, officially at least, you DON’T have to eat it.
That said, when people do the maths, it seems to be quite challenging to MAKE ENOUGH of it, so a better description of glycine would be, it is conditionally essential.
The state of your body chemistry, might mean you need to eat a little more of it, to run well.
Why is glycine low ?
The short answer……………….. at this stage, no one really knows. There are clearly two possibilities.
You’re making less and/or needing more.
What do you need it for ?
Glycine’s biology is BIG
You’re made of glycine
11.5 % of the total amino acid content of the human body is glycine – so you’re made of it. Now most of that glycine is found, in collagen and elastin. Collagen is a protein made up of a triple helix. The individual strands have every third amino acid as glycine.
Now when it comes to collagen, SIZE MATTERS.
It is estimated that an average human, needs 630 times more collagen, than an average rat.
Of course, if you’re bigger than average, you need more than that. And if your collagen is taking a hit, because of bad body chemistry, you’ll need a little extra glycine, to take care of the trouble.
Remodelling of collagen, is not the only time, glycine is involved in “fixing” things.
Glycine protects against oxidative stress
Glycine is one of the three amino acids, that make up, glutathione, your body’s chief anti-oxidant.
Glutathione’s claim to fame…………
It plays a big role in cleaning up.
In particular it mops up reactive oxygen species, that are zooting around, up to no good. And when you’re insulin resistant, there is no shortage of these……
Thanks to oxidative stress.
But glycine is more than a building block of proteins and a defender, against oxidative stress………… it’s a messenger.
Glycine is able to lock onto special receptors……………. when it binds, it causes chloride ions to flood into cells. This sudden rush of negativity (chloride ions are negatively charged), depolarizes the membrane………..
which typically impedes responses.
A glycine shortfall
Which brings us back to the point, if you’re insulin resistant, glycine levels are DOWN. Now shortages are NOT life threatening, but they probably impact quality of life.
And potentially contribute to the bad body chemistry underpinning insulin resistance.
So improving your glycine status, will help create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY.
Glycine supply management
There are two ways to “eat” more glycine….
The first and more natural approach, is to eat foods that are collagen-rich, i.e. eat bones, skin and the cartilage of animals. This is something our ancestors did on a regular basis, but is often absent in modern diets.
NOTE : Plants are not good sources of glycine.
The second option, would to include a collagen or glycine supplement, in your health regimen.
Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, glycine a review. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2017) Article ID 1716701. MA Razak, PS Begum, B Viswanath and S Rajagopal.
Impaired “Glycine”-mia in Type 2 Diabetes and potential mechanisms contributing to glucose homeostasis. Endocrinology (2017)158(5):1064-1073. Richard Yan-Do and Patrick E. MacDonald.
NOTE : Glycine is just one of hundreds of chemicals in the body that are amiss when you’re suffering from metabolic syndrome. To learn more about some of the other players, go to our “Ups and Downs” of Insulin Resistance series.
We worry about bone health, but a bone break is a rarity, a tear in a tendons or ligament if far more likely. So what can you do to avoid these ?
Any time you eat or drink a high carb snack, your sugar level will rise, temporarily – if this happens often enough, you’ll look old before your time
Sagging skin is an outward sign of a collagen short fall. A collagen shortage extends beyond the outlayer to your bones. More wrinkles means less bone.