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How much Glycine is too much?

Commented on April 28, 2014
Created April 21, 2014 at 7:46 PM

In light of a few recent threads (for instance: this, this, and this) I've taken action and started eating a few Glycine/gelatin rich foods such as thick broth, pork skins, and even some good paleo gelatin treats...

Turns out it's really easy to get more gelatin/glycine in your diet. Hardly trying, I can get more than 10 grams per day.

Any clue where I should set my upper daily/weekly limits? It's pretty easy to figure out that we should eat more glycine, but just how much, it seems, is a more difficult question.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 28, 2014
at 08:24 PM

I like cheap and convenient solutions :-) I'll still look into fresh oysters though. I never actually cooked them at home; the fresh ones I've had were always off of someone's BBQ.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 10:00 PM

I picked up the book on a free rack in a train station and read it in the 45 minute ride into Chicago, then tossed it. It was later that I got curious about the diet and what the magic food was, and found out why this diet disappeared faster than the first wave of Atkins. There is some question whether the hoof emulsion was even digestible. When several million fat lemmings charge toward the cliff no one asks intelligent questions.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 27, 2014
at 07:15 PM

More of a malnutrition issue than a toxicity issue.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on April 27, 2014
at 06:36 PM

+5 ....

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2014
at 02:26 PM

Alright @Matt 11, I respect your opinion, but I think we're going to just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 01:09 PM

This is why I'm concerned about upper limits.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/60/6/1401.full.pdf

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 01:03 PM

A couple years ago I read The Last Chance Diet. It was based on eating an emulsion made from cow's hooves, which is about as close as you can get to an all-glycine diet. The book and emulsion made the promoter rich (cow hooves aren't expensive) but it was basically a starvation diet. A few people died.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 12:56 PM

I didn't mean it as a troll. Knox used to sell their gelatin to fix nails and people such as my mom would eat packets for that. The leftover packets sat in the pantry for us kids to find and eat. Not as good as jello powder.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 27, 2014
at 12:24 PM

My points being: 1) Not every study is good, in fact, few are good. 2) You have to learn to read scientific studies with an eye for separating wheat from the chaff (though paleos want neither of those!) 3) Reviews are rarely worth reading. 4) Metastudies even less so. 5) If it's in a crappy fringe journal, it's likely somebody's thesis data that didn't quite make sense.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 12:11 PM

Oops vitamins. While I'd prefer you were eating fresh Goose Points or Lytles those boiled canned whole oysters are probably as close to fresh as is convenient.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 11:28 AM

glib oysters are mostly water, with a little muscle protein, some fat and glycogen. I was using them only as an example of obsession, not for the glycine but for the bioavailable minerals they concentrate. methodician I don't know where the minerals went - guess you'll have to hit the fish store, and look out for bad smelly oysters.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 27, 2014
at 05:22 AM

Oh Okay, @Matt 11 it seems that you just discredited every scientific study ever published in the history of the world!

.

-can't tell if srs

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 26, 2014
at 04:45 PM

I guess I should answer your question though it feels a little trollie. At least you did suggest 10g. + I like you FWIW.

What I want to accomplish is two-fold yet simple: extended healthspan/lifespan + improved gut health/regularity. My hair and nails are doing great because I've eaten a nutritious, whole-food diet for about 2 years. I'm not convinced that this simple approach will help me live to 100 but it's a great start. Gelatin also seems to do wonders for digestive health and bowel regularity which I can certainly appreciate.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 26, 2014
at 04:41 PM

Wait, are you suggesting 20-40 grams of glycine or gelatin?

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 26, 2014
at 04:38 PM

While I don't always have the time, I like to "review" the article and sources myself. People like @Stephen 4 appear better equipped than even myself to do this but then I have to take his bias into account. If only time were a variable resource.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 26, 2014
at 04:36 PM

Interesting where this thread is going but now I'm curious, why are the vitamins gone in smoked oysters, and what if I get these as a weekly/daily supplement? Since I'm cutting down on muscle meat I could use a little boost of zinc. I'm currently supplementing but would prefer to eliminate as many industrial supplements as possible.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 26, 2014
at 03:07 PM

Do you know who peer-reviews articles? Biased people. Biased people you generally get to pick to review your article! And even then peer-review fails to catch obvious data manipulation/bullshit too often.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 26, 2014
at 12:18 AM

would it not be more prudent to quote a gelatin protein need? there is proline too. Plus, it looks more paleo to get as close as possible to the real food (subcutaneous flesh/fat).

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 26, 2014
at 12:14 AM

not necessary at all. there is ample record of which parts of the animal primitive societies favor. there is a fairly obvious comparison between protein profile (intake) and protein profile (composition). I think this issue is similar to the issue of gluten. plenty of people have great health on gluten, others suffer. Both affect the gut, too.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 26, 2014
at 12:10 AM

agree on the ball park, but parts of collagen (skin, guts, and also hair and nails) get lost far faster. Papers I have seen give 16-40% extra losses. I should start a different thread perhaps, but 26 to 50% gelatin supplementation, if you believe the rate of breakdown is equal to that of muscle, 20 to 40 grams/day?

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 26, 2014
at 12:05 AM

collagen is 30% of the human body, not 8%. is there proof that it is broken down at least 4 times more slowly than muscle?

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 26, 2014
at 12:04 AM

how are oysters comparable to a food that comprises 30% of our proteins?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 25, 2014
at 09:25 PM

Ok… take your amino acids, and compare the pairwise, without changing other variables… 21 standard amino acids… 210 experiments, let's say 2 months minimum experiment time… 3 different magnitudes of changes… That's only 105 years of experiments…

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 08:05 PM

Fresh oysters were cheap on the WA coast but in few other places. I got jars of cuts, and ate about an oyster a day fried with bacon, so a jar of smalls would last about 10 days for $6. If the store had downgrade "cuts"'the price dropped to $3. If you decide to buy fresh in the shell at Whole Foods (they don't sell the jars) you'll probably pay $1-2 per oyster, 3-5x more than I was paying. Smoked oysters are probably cheaper and would still have the minerals, though any vitamins would be gone.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 25, 2014
at 07:52 PM

That reminds me I've been meaning to incorporate the occasional few oysters into my diet. Aren't they kind of pricy though?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 07:07 PM

Eating sacks of pork rinds was one of my concerns.... I commented one time enthusiastically about oysters being "natures vitamin pills", and darned if someone didn't start eating mass quantities. How much zinc does a person need?

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:24 PM

Interesting. Well, fear not I've always been wary of anything remotely extreme. Perhaps the wording "too much" vs "enough" doesn't portray the fact that as I took up the practice of increasing gelatin consumption I immediately questioned the extent to which it should be done. I don't think eating an ounce or two of pork skins or a cup of jello is going to throw off my whole equilibrium... heck I could get 15 grams of glycine without disrupting my diet, but is that too much glycine? It certainly doesn't seem natural.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 06:04 PM

I've seen people here become obsessive about miracle foods, eat them ad libitum and burn out when there was no miracle. Oysters for instance. It's not like eating a lot will harm you, but it excludes other foods. So I see it more a matter of how much is enough rather than how much is too much.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 25, 2014
at 01:31 PM

Good, then you also understand that the mice Study and the peer reviewed journal Review are both more credible then a high point forum member's undocumented opinion.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 25, 2014
at 01:22 PM

Yeah, I judge journals… and I judge where research groups are from. A review is not a study either. It's a hypothesis at best.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 24, 2014
at 08:51 PM

Okay Mr negative Nancy, for the benefit of these boards, please make a scientific argument if you want to continue this, unless you'd like to base your argument on authority?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 24, 2014
at 08:47 PM

A review in a crappy journal… claiming a 10 gram deficit in glycine?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 24, 2014
at 04:36 PM

Maybe you didn't play with legos when you were a kid but When I needed a 2 piece lego, I damn well needed a 2 piece lego. Lol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 24, 2014
at 04:35 PM

I disagree Matt, he's talking about one of only 20ish building blocks which not only make up every strand of DNA in our entire body, but specific building blocks that are conditionally essential and increasingly rare in our diet over the last 10,000 years. There is also reason to believe in other animal models that this building block helps ameliorate the otherwise life shortening properties of excess availability from the other amino acids. This is distinct from a given vitamin, mineral or nutrient in that it is actually required by every single strand of DNA as a building block.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 24, 2014
at 04:20 PM

I'm not sure how this is relevant thhq. What's your point and how on earth does it relate to my post?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 24, 2014
at 12:41 PM

As per the glycine requirements outlined in this recently published journal article, I could easily come up with a diet that is deficient in glycine, especially on a lower protein diet.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 24, 2014
at 12:26 PM

Glycine may be "conditionally essential", but can you come up with a reasonable diet that is deficient in glycine? At some point, reality has to enter a discussion. You can study rats and fruit flies until the cows come home, but humans don't eat lab chow. :)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 24, 2014
at 08:46 AM

@Matt 11You probably looked up ground meats and rounded up :p. I would agree that the total amount or % consumption of a non-essential amino acid would tend to be irrelevant almost by definition alone. However Glycine is defined as a conditionally essential amino acid in humans, meaning that in some people, sick, old or young for example, glycine synthesis does not meet demand for basic metabolic activities. We can argue the technicalities all day but Glycine extends lifespan in rats by 25%+[1] and is an essential amino acid in at least some parts of the population (maybe even you 0.o).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 24, 2014
at 03:30 AM

Hrm, I ran across 7, 8 and 11% when I searched… averaged my N=3 search to 10% and called it a day. :P Still, 10 grams or whatever proposed is completely arbitrary (particularly for a non-essential amino acid!)

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 24, 2014
at 02:46 AM

actually, I spent some time on nutrition data and there is not a single food item that is 8%. Ribs, oxtail, oysters, are 3 to 6%. Potatoes are 3%.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 24, 2014
at 02:32 AM

whole milk is 2.3% in glycine. Egg is 3.3%.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on April 23, 2014
at 02:27 PM

Bingo! ... Besides "how flat" is the muti-variable saddle? Is true "optimization" even possible? And what about cost / benefit ratio?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:29 AM

I can't see how this is on-topic methodician. Will it be 1000 bananas tomorrow? 1000 oysters? You could go through the same exercise with every food.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 23, 2014
at 02:53 AM

Micromanaging 1000s of nutrient variables is an exercise in futility. By all means, if that's what you want your hobby to be (lots of people do paleo as a hobby, heck, my posting here means paleo is somewhat of a hobby for myself), go for it. I'll happily eat a varied whole food diet instead and use my free time for other endeavors. :)

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:58 PM

Matt I think your approach is great if you're preaching to the SAD masses. Some of us, however, are looking to optimize the human diet/lifestyle in a modern context. Some of us happily obsess over one variable at a time, tweaking it until we're comfortable moving to the next. Some of us want to be all we can be, not just good enough.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:55 PM

Sounds like my intuition did something nifty when I went on cronometer that first day and set upped my glycine max to 7.4 grams, considering my daily goal is 74.3 grams protein. I literally put no thought into it. Just said to myself "here's where it's at by default, I'll bump it up a bit"...

Since I actually tend to average closer to 82 grams protein and my glycine intake won't be constant, I'll put my upper at 9 and my lower at 5 for now.

TY for the insight...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:43 PM

About 6.3% of protein in ground beef comes from glycine, about 4.9% in chciken breasts, 4.7% in steak, 4.8% from no skin salmon fillets and 3.5% from kidney beans. A normal western varied diet would realistically be around 5% protein as Glycine.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:36 PM

You'd already be pretty close to 10 g glycine per day on a 100 gram protein diet.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:32 PM

Considering glycine by mass makes up about 10% of protein… that's in the ballpark of a healthy moderately high protein diet (~15-25% of calories as protein).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:28 PM

If you're eating 100g/protein per day then there likely wouldn't be much advantage to eating more than 10g of glycine/ day.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:23 PM

So 10g a day should do it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 21, 2014
at 11:23 PM

Muscle averages about 8% collagen, variable. We don't need to supplement it.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 21, 2014
at 09:53 PM

not so. walk into any supermarket and tell me how much animal foods are out there that really fit the optimal profile for adult humans. Sure, there is bacon. But most of the time the collagen part of the animal ends up in chicken feed or doggie treats. Unfortunately, parts with hair on one side are not considered choice. Knuckles and other parts aren't either.

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3 Answers

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Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:36 PM

It's either at 12% of calories in total or at 12% of calories from protein as glycine where you start to see slower physical growth in rats. As in, they don't grow as large. To play it safe 10% of protein calories as glycine would be what I would set as an upper limit. Not an ideal necessarily, but a rough upper limit, I would see no advantage in eating more than that.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:55 PM

Sounds like my intuition did something nifty when I went on cronometer that first day and set upped my glycine max to 7.4 grams, considering my daily goal is 74.3 grams protein. I literally put no thought into it. Just said to myself "here's where it's at by default, I'll bump it up a bit"...

Since I actually tend to average closer to 82 grams protein and my glycine intake won't be constant, I'll put my upper at 9 and my lower at 5 for now.

TY for the insight...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:23 PM

So 10g a day should do it.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:26 PM

What do you want to accomplish? Are your nails splitting? Enough is enough, and more than enough is just bulk calories. 10g a day should do it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:32 PM

Considering glycine by mass makes up about 10% of protein… that's in the ballpark of a healthy moderately high protein diet (~15-25% of calories as protein).

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 01:09 PM

This is why I'm concerned about upper limits.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/60/6/1401.full.pdf

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 01:03 PM

A couple years ago I read The Last Chance Diet. It was based on eating an emulsion made from cow's hooves, which is about as close as you can get to an all-glycine diet. The book and emulsion made the promoter rich (cow hooves aren't expensive) but it was basically a starvation diet. A few people died.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 26, 2014
at 04:45 PM

I guess I should answer your question though it feels a little trollie. At least you did suggest 10g. + I like you FWIW.

What I want to accomplish is two-fold yet simple: extended healthspan/lifespan + improved gut health/regularity. My hair and nails are doing great because I've eaten a nutritious, whole-food diet for about 2 years. I'm not convinced that this simple approach will help me live to 100 but it's a great start. Gelatin also seems to do wonders for digestive health and bowel regularity which I can certainly appreciate.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 27, 2014
at 12:56 PM

I didn't mean it as a troll. Knox used to sell their gelatin to fix nails and people such as my mom would eat packets for that. The leftover packets sat in the pantry for us kids to find and eat. Not as good as jello powder.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:44 PM

Matt 11 bot says: eat a varied diet and you don't need to worry about such things.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 21, 2014
at 09:53 PM

not so. walk into any supermarket and tell me how much animal foods are out there that really fit the optimal profile for adult humans. Sure, there is bacon. But most of the time the collagen part of the animal ends up in chicken feed or doggie treats. Unfortunately, parts with hair on one side are not considered choice. Knuckles and other parts aren't either.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:58 PM

Matt I think your approach is great if you're preaching to the SAD masses. Some of us, however, are looking to optimize the human diet/lifestyle in a modern context. Some of us happily obsess over one variable at a time, tweaking it until we're comfortable moving to the next. Some of us want to be all we can be, not just good enough.

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