Glycine is an amino acid. The body can make glycine on its own, but it is also consumed in the diet. Sources include meat, fish, dairy, and legumes.

Glycine is a building block for making proteins in the body. Glycine is also involved in transmitting chemical signals in the brain, so there's interest in using it for schizophrenia and improving memory. A typical diet contains about 2 grams of glycine daily.

People use glycine for schizophrenia, stroke, memory and thinking skills, insomnia, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
When taken by mouth: Glycine is possibly safe for most people when taken in doses up to 6 grams daily for 4 weeks. It's usually well-tolerated. Some people might have mild side effects such as stomach upset.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if glycine is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if glycine is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Schizophrenia. Taking glycine by mouth along with some antipsychotic drugs seems to reduce certain symptoms, called negative symptoms, in some people who don't respond to treatment with conventional drugs. But it's not clear if glycine is helpful in people who are taking newer medications, such as clozapine.
There is interest in using glycine for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Glycine has most often been used by adults in doses of 3 grams by mouth daily for up to 24 weeks. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Clozapine (Clozaril)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Clozapine is used to help treat schizophrenia. Taking glycine along with clozapine might decrease the effects of clozapine. It is not clear why this interaction occurs. Do not take glycine if you are taking clozapine.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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