Posts tagged: inflammation

Health Benefits Of Glycine

Health Benefits Of Glycine
Graphic ©

Glycine is a nonessential amino acid produced by our bodies from serine. This amino acid possesses a few characteristics that set it apart from other amino acids, the most fascinating perhaps being the fact that it is the smallest and the only achiral amino acid so far discovered. Glycine mainly functions as a nonpolar precursor to proteins and is an ambivalent amino acid, rendering it capable of being inside or outside the protein. [1] In the brain, majority of inhibitory neurons utilize glycine as a neurotransmitter in their synapses. Together with glutamate, glycine is a co-agonist for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors.

Glycine and Inflammatory Disorders

To date, there have an astounding number of clinical trials and studies associating glycine with anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective effects against inflammatory diseases. A review of recent findings by a research team from the University of North Carolina in 2003 notes the protective action of glycine against hemorrhage-, endotoxin-, and sepsis-triggered shock as well as its ability to put off ischemia/reperfusion and cold storage/reperfusion injury in several tissues and organs such as the liver, kidneys, heart, intestines, and skeletal muscles. The list of glycine’s health-promoting and inflammation-warding actions goes on, from its diminishing effect against injury in the liver and kidneys caused by toxins and drugs to its defensive power against peptidoglycan-related arthritis and various types of ulcers in the gastric mucosa brought about by either stress or a range of harmful substances. The research review further elaborates the anti-inflammatory mechanism of glycine in inflammatory cells such as macrophages, where it suppresses the activation of transcription factors and the formation of free radicals and inflammatory cytokines, and in the plasma membrane, where it turns on the chloride channel that stabilizes or hyperpolarizes the plasma membrane potential, holding back the agonist-induced opening of L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels and the consequent elevation of intracellular calcium ion levels. [2]

Glycine and Schizophrenia

Due to glycine’s affinity to receptors of NMDA, which mediate glutamatergic neurotransmission and in turn are involved in the pathophysiology of negative symptoms of schizophrenia, the amino acid has been explored by a few studies as a potential ameliorating strategy against schizophrenic negative symptoms. To date, treatments capable of theoretically increasing the function of NMDA receptors through enhancing actions at the glycine cotransmitter site are being developed in the hope that not only negative but also cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia may be improved. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover treatment trial by Heresco-Levy et al. (1999), who augmented the antipsychotic medications taken by twenty-two treatment-resistant schizophrenic patients with 0.8 g/kg per day of glycine, glycine treatment led to a significant reduction in negative symptoms and an improvement in Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale scores of patients, who manifested good tolerance to glycine administration. [3] Javitt et al. (2001) similarly reported significant improvements with respect to negative and cognitive symptoms among schizophrenic patients medicated with high-dose glycine plus antipsychotic treatment. In their study, glycine treatment induced a significant 34% reduction in negative symptoms among study participants and was associated with an 8-fold increase in serum glycine levels. [4]

Glycine and Insomnia

According to the study of Bannai et al. (2012), glycine enhances the sleep quality of individuals suffering from insomnia or difficulty in sleeping. In this study, study participants had 25% less than their usual sleep time for three consecutive nights and took either 3?g of glycine or placebo prior to bedtime. Those individuals on glycine treatment manifested reduced fatigue and improved daytime sleepiness, with improvements in psychomotor vigilance. Moreover, glycine appears to modulate certain neuropeptides found in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which may indirectly explain the role of glycine in improving sleep restriction-triggered occasional sleepiness and fatigue. [5]

Glycine and Cancer

Several recent studies have proposed glycine supplementation as an effective preventive approach against cancer caused by carcinogens. Rose et al. (1997) reported that dietary supplementation of glycine prevents an increase in hepatocyte replication resulting from a potent peroxisome proliferator, which is a nongenotoxic carcinogen and tumor promoter. After 3 weeks of glycine administration, basal rates of cell proliferation decreased by 50% and peroxisome proliferator-induced sustained increase in cell proliferation was hindered, possibly through glycine’s inhibition of tumor necrosis factor-alpha production. [6] Another research team in 1999 presented findings that indicate that glycine inhibits angiogenesis in tumors and endothelial cell proliferation dose-dependently, thereby preventing tumor growth. In this study, the tumors arising from B16 melanoma cells implanted subcutaneously in experimental mice had 50-75% less size among mice fed with diet supplemented with 5% glycine and 15% casein; the tumors in mice on glycine-supplemented diet also weighed nearly 65% less than the control group. [7]


[1] Glycine. The Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona.

[2] Zhong Z. et al. (2003). L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 6(2): 229-240.

[3] Heresco-Levy U. et al. (1999). Efficacy of high-dose glycine in the treatment of enduring negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry. 56(1): 29-36.

[4] Javitt D. C. et al. (2001). Adjunctive high-dose glycine in the treatment of schizophrenia. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 4(4): 385-391.

[5] Bannai M. et al. (2012). The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers. Frontiers in Neurology. 3: 61. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2012.00061.

[6] Rose M. L., Germolec D., Arteel G. E., Schoonhoven R., Thurman R. G. (1997). Dietary glycine prevents increases in hepatocyte proliferation caused by the peroxisome proliferator WY-14,643. Chemical Research in Toxicology. 10(10): 1198-1204.

[7] Rose M. L., Madren J., Bunzendahl H., Thurman R. G. (1999). Dietary glycine inhibits the growth of B16 melanoma tumors in mice. Carcinogenesis. 20(5): 793-798. doi: 10.1093/carcin/20.5.793

12 Foods That Fight Inflammation

12 Foods That Fight Inflammation
12 Foods That Fight Inflammation. Graphic © Image sources – see foot of article.

Inflammation is an important immune response that helps protect the body from harm and fight pathogens. However, it can get out of control (chronic inflammation) – leading to severe health issues. Studies have indicated that certain foods can help manage inflammation and improve your wellbeing. Check out this list and the scientific references below:

1. Papaya: An article appearing in the online resource, Nutrition Review shows that some proteolytic enzymes (such as papain) in the papaya fruit help reduce inflammation. [1]

2. Avocado: Avocados are as delicious as they are nutritious. Several studies show that the beloved fruit inhibits inflammatory markers and may reduce inflammation. [2]

3. Blueberries: Blueberries contain phytochemicals known as polyphenols that help fight inflammation and get rid of free radicals. [3]

4. Chia Seeds: According to the Arthritis Foundation, chia seeds are an excellent source of alpha-lipoic acid – and they may help manage symptoms of arthritis. [4]

5. Cranberries: This little red fruit has been shown to fight inflammation by inhibiting C-reactive proteins (an inflammation marker). [5][6]

6. Broccoli: Broccoli is a good source of sulforaphane, which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. [7]

7. Ginger: Ginger contains phenolic compounds such as paradol, shogaol, and gingerol that help relieve inflammation. [8]

8. Walnuts: Polyphenols – especially ellagitannins – in walnuts help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress. [9]

9. Red Cabbage: A 2016 study in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research shows that purple/red cabbage may reduce gut inflammation by up to 40%. [10]

10. Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are rich in arginine – which is an amino acid that helps reduce the levels of the C-reactive inflammation marker. [11]

11. Turmeric: This spicy herb contains a compound known as curcumin that has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. [12]

12. Celery: If the findings of a study published in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research are anything to go by, celery can help manage inflammation by reducing inflammation markers such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-KB) proteins. [13]

Please note that this content should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


[1] Controlling Inflammation with Proteolytic Enzymes

[2] Li Z. et al. 2013. Hass avocado modulates postprandial vascular reactivity and postprandial inflammatory responses to a hamburger meal in healthy volunteers.

[3] Huang, W. et al. 2012. Survey of antioxidant capacity and phenolic composition of blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry in Nanjing*

[4] Best Nuts and Seeds for Arthritis

[5] Cranberry and Its Phytochemicals: A Review of In Vitro Anticancer Studies

[6] Duffey KJ. et al. 2015. Adult consumers of cranberry juice cocktail have lower C-reactive protein levels compared with nonconsumers.

[7] Hwang JH. et al. 2014. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Broccoli Florets in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells.

[8] Mashhadi, N. et al. 2013. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence

[9] Sánchez-González C. et al. 2017. Health benefits of walnut polyphenols: An exploration beyond their lipid profile.

[10] Kaulmann A. et al. 2016. Inflammation related responses of intestinal cells to plum and cabbage digesta with differential carotenoid and polyphenol profiles following simulated gastrointestinal digestion.

[11] Wells BJ. et al. 2005. Association between dietary arginine and C-reactive protein.

[12] Menon VP. et al. 2007. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.

[13] Hostetler G. et al. 2012. Flavone deglycosylation increases their anti-inflammatory activity and absorption.

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12 Foods That Fight Inflammation
Graphic © Image sources – see foot of article.

Infographic Image Sources:
Papaya –
Avocado –
Blueberries –
Chia Seeds –
Cranberry –
Broccoli –
Ginger –
Walnuts –
Red Cabbage –
Hemp Seeds –
Turmeric –
Celery –

101 Superfoods That Fight Joint Pain And Inflammation

101 Superfoods That Fight Joint Pain And Inflammation
101 Superfoods That Fight Joint Pain And Inflammation. Graphic ©
Images – © psdesign1 (human body), © (veggies), © Liddy Hansdottir (fruit heart) –

Chronic inflammation is now regarded as being at the core of joint pain issues and numerous life-threatening diseases. Inflammation is being taken so seriously by modern medical professionals that it was even featured on the cover of Time Magazine (Feb 23, 2014) and described as “The Secret Killer”!

However did you know that poor food choices are a leading cause of inflammation in the human body? They cause overstimulation of the immune system, leading to chronic inflammatory response (as well as many other serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, IBS and arthritis). It doesn’t take a huge amount of observation to see how the modern factory-fake-food diet is wreaking havoc on our health. People are sick! This is not the way our bodies were designed to be.

We’ve got some great news for you today – numerous healthy foods have been found by numerous scientists to support anti-inflammatory effects in the body! It’s a good idea to start incorporating more of these tasty and super-healthy foods into your diet instead of the stuff that is literally keeping you in pain.

Check out the 101 Superfoods That Stop Joint Pain And Inflammation. This is a really great guide packed full of excellent food choices, tips and research. I’m taking it with me next time I go shopping! Here’s the link:

101 Superfoods That Stop Joint Pain And Inflammation

Ps. If you’ve been following this website for a while, you might have come across some of our other useful posts on this topic – for example Top 20 Natural Painkillers In Your Kitchen.

We also have pages extolling and explaining the virtues of some of the world’s best herbs and spices – for example Turmeric – which has been the subject of hundreds of scientific papers investigating its healing qualities… and then of course there are other ‘super spices’ such as Ginger and Cayenne.

One last tip (you’ve heard me say this before)… buy organic. Organic fruit and veg have now been proven by top scientists to contain much higher levels of beneficial nutrients. It’s a fact. Full story here.

Note – 101 Superfoods That Stop Joint Pain And Inflammation is a product for which I receive a commission on sales. However please note that I am discerning about what I promote and only recommend those things which I genuinely believe in.

101 Superfoods That Fight Joint Pain And Inflammation
101 Superfoods That Fight Joint Pain And Inflammation. Graphic ©
Images – © psdesign1 (human body), © (veggies), © Liddy Hansdottir (fruit heart) –