Do GLP-1 and Glucagon Mediate Some of the Protection Afforded by Supplemental Glycine?

The amino acid glycine, when ingested in high daily doses, has a range of promising anti-inflammatory effects, reflecting its ability to activate receptors that permit the flux of chloride ions across cell membranes. Glycine is particularly protective to rodents fed sucrose-rich diets, who otherwise develop a fatty liver, an increase in abdominal fat stores, and elevated blood pressure – a syndrome similar to “metabolic syndrome” in humans. This essay proposes that glycine’s benefit in this regard reflects increased production of two hormones – glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucagon – which act on the liver to promote that burning of fat while preventing new fat synthesis. Hence a high intake of glycine – inexpensive and pleasant-tasting – may act as an antidote to the adverse metabolic effects of diets high in added sucrose or fructose.

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