Glycine Power?!

One of the things I've been doing regularly for the past year or so is making carcass broths and bone broths and making stews and soups with it.  I make the distinction of carcass v. bone because I mostly make two versions:  (1) pork from pork shoulder bones my amazing pork guy provides me free by the bagful (so I don't have to save up bones in the freezer which is a huge bonus!) and (2) chicken from the whole carcass from chickens or everything from the parts -- e.g. a fair amount of skin and cartilage and "stuff".  

There was a question about pork rinds and satiety the other day on PaleoHacks that reminded me of a few things.  One was that whenever I would hear of the health bennies of gelatin protein, I always remembered reading that it was not a good major protein source because it is not a complete protein.  Well, the protein from such broths may not be complete, but it is special indeed.  I'm not one for anecdotes but my less-than-perfect-diet hubby is prone to getting bronchitis or worse at least a couple of times every winter and he's had issues with prolonged bouts that turn into one long episode.  Last winter?  One short cold!  I tend to think that's no coinky dink.  

Turns out bone/carcass broths are rich in, among other things, the amino acid glycine.  From more general info sources on bone broth in general with some specific references to glycine:

A Google scholar search (these will fluctuate, but I only present to give you an idea of number of seemingly quality cites):  glycine immunity.

From a supplement hawk:  Amino Acid Glycine

And then there's this study:

The study investigated the mechanism by which glycine protects against increased circulating nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), fat cell size, intra-abdominal fat accumulation, and blood pressure (BP) induced in male Wistar rats by sucrose ingestion. The addition of 1% glycine to the drinking water containing 30% sucrose, for 4 wk, markedly reduced high BP in sucrose-fed rats (SFR) (122.3 ± 5.6 vs. 147.6 ± 5.4 mmHg in SFR without glycine, P < 0.001). Decreases in plasma triglyceride (TG) levels (0.9 ± 0.3 vs. 1.4 ± 0.3 mM, P < 0.001), intra-abdominal fat (6.8 ± 2.16 vs. 14.8 ± 4.0 g, P < 0.01), and adipose cell size were observed in SFR treated with glycine compared with SFR without treatment. Total NEFA concentration in the plasma of SFR was significantly decreased by glycine intake (0.64 ± 0.08 vs. 1.11 ± 0.09 mM in SFR without glycine, P < 0.001). In control animals, glycine decreased glucose, TGs, and total NEFA but without reaching significance. In SFR treated with glycine, mitochondrial respiration, as an indicator of the rate of fat oxidation, showed an increase in the state IV oxidation rate of the ß -oxidation substrates octanoic acid and palmitoyl carnitine.  This suggests an enhancement of hepatic fatty acid metabolism, i.e., in their transport, activation, or ß -oxidation. These findings imply that the protection by glycine against elevated BP might be attributed to its effect in increasing fatty acid oxidation, reducing intra-abdominal fat accumulation and circulating NEFA, which have been proposed as links between obesity and hypertension.

There's lots in this paper that I'm too bogged down in other things to go off on yet another tangent here.  But since I had it on the mind I wanted to at least throw this up here for your perusal.  Meantime, a bennie of it getting colder is that it's soup season.  I've got a big ass jar (probably from somewhere like Costco) in the fridge that I'll spoon out (yep it gets that set up) for cups of hot broth, and I've got chicken soup to be made!  When I first started reading about broths I was not convinced.  How could it taste that much different?  Well, once you cook with bone broths instead of water you'll know what everyone's raving about!


Quarrel said…
Wow. It's like it's glycine week.

Yesterday (or the day before?) I followed a link from the comments here to the Low Odds Ratio blog (the very interesting post I'd never been, had a look around and saw these:

(and linked from the above)

Then MDA yesterday:

which linked a bunch:

Glycine is sweeping the paleo-sphere!

I must admit, I'm tempted to try up mine and see if it improves my sleep. I usually think though that seeing I eat heaps of meat that I'd get plenty of glycine (or any other amino acid).


Seems to suggest that even my beef will see me do pretty well for glycine.

CarbSane said…
Oh jeez Q, here I thought I was being ground breaking LOL! Hans has a cool blog. I do wonder if it's not just the amount but ratio vs. other aminos, so with bone broths you get that balance? Hubby not getting peenewmonia (that's phonetic for how we say it here) last year ... frankly I don't care about the why! LOL
John said…
So gelatin is low in tryptophan (none) and methionine. Studies are a bit inconsistent, but usually methionine restriction increases fat oxidation and metabolic rate per unit mass. Tryptophan restriction increases time to puberty and also slows certain aging markers.

I know Peat has caused a bit of a stir with recommending gelatin for sleep because most people seem to think serotonin=sleep; but, 5-HT antagonists do increase slow wave sleep (and reduce UV-induced skin cancer/damage). I never understood the "mainstream" recommendation of eating "serotonin foods."
Bone broths are the best thing ever. I think you're right, too, about how if you consume them, you don't get sick nearly as often. I've noticed the same thing myself. I make them about once a week in my Crock Pot. The ones from oxtail bones are really gelatinous, and you're right about cooking with them - the ones from roast chicken carcasses are so tasty. I even given my dog a few of the crumbly bones for the marrow when I am straining the broth and she always does a puppy happy dance.
Duffy Pratt said…
Umm.... when its cooked from bone, its a stock. A broth is made from the meat. So "bone broths" is just a misnomer.

Be careful about giving your dog any cooked bones. You said "crumbly bones" and from that description you are probably OK. But anything large enough to splinter is a very bad idea. In my house, the dogs get raw bones or none at all. I lost a St. Bernard to a seemingly indestructable beef bone. She splintered it, and the splinter pierced her stomach or small intestine.
@duffy I do know the difference between a stock and a broth. Also know about being careful when it comes to giving dogs cooked bones. however, when you simmer a chicken *stock* long enough, around 24 hours, the chicken bones become a lot like macadamia nuts or cashews in consistency and crumble and won't hurt the dog. Like you said, though, thicker ruminant bones are a different story. That's so sad about your dog; you must have been heartbroken.
CarbSane said…
Well Duffy, on zee interwebs folks are calling them bone broths so that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;).

@FTD: I'm going to have to try oxtail bones -- not sure where I'd get them. I've heard that was good. I love love love my pork guy. I don't eat enough bone-in meats so that to save 'em up is a PITA. And when I want a pork butt he always saves me a beaut. Last one was 9 lbs of delish. The extra loose fat on that goes to hubby's hypermetabolic friend who fries it up LOL.
@evelyn I got my oxtail bones at Whole Foods. I did have to pay for them, I think around $8/pound for grass-fed ones, but it yielded so much broth, er stock, er "result" that the cost/use is quite low
Wolfstriked said…
Anyone follow the Mcdougall high starch plan?Makes a ton of sense to me and past 3 days I have been doing it and my pants are falling down.I ate a whole pound of pasta last night and woke up skinnier today.Th boxes at my job seem lighter and I work like a horse.All this on bagels w/bananas,pasta with fat free sauce,rice and beans and various veggies.Its kinda making me angry since I wonder if I will become super skinny eating this lovely diet and all these yrs I have had a spare tire and lack of energy from believing the LC hype. :(
Galina L. said…
I make bone broths in a pressure-cooker. It is fanny how most bones get so soft, you can chew it. The only downside - broth from pressure-cooker is cloudy, slowly cooked for hour - transparent and clear. I also make a meat jello with pig feet and beef hearts. Great with a horseradish souse. It is a good idea to use generous amount of whole black pepper in your broth and a bay leaf.
@galina a generous dollop of vinegar too (I like Bragg's) - to help pull the calcium and connective tissue from the bones & into the broth/stock
Lerner said…
You can also get additional glycine by eating comets:

August 17, 2009

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.
Diana said…
"One of the things I've been doing regularly for the past year or so is making carcass broths..."

When I read that, it made me nervous. :) I thought maybe you were gonna start calling yourself Hannibal Carbsane.

It's difficult to find chicken feet and bones in my area. We've gotten soo special, people don't like those parts of the animal. You have to go down to Chinatown for that.

Lots of good tips. I'll try WF for the oxtails but it's a zoo (a human zoo) in my area.
CarbSane said…
Hee hee ... I won't be going the offal route though any time soon! I can get all sorts of stuff at the local Asian market, but the carcass from a rotisserie chicken from Costco works for me too ;)

Pixie dust Lerner? :D
CarbSane said…
@Galina: In a pressure cooker? How fast does that go? Or did you mean a slow cooker/crock pot. I find breaking bones first works well. Plus it let's me vent frustrations with a hammer! LOL
Tsimblist said…
@Wolfstriked: I started on the McDougall 12 day meal plan on Easter 2007. I was hoping that it would fix my cholesterol and get me off of my prescribed statin.

It did get me off the statin and I did lose some weight. My wife and extended family complained that I was too skinny.

But in fact, I stabilized at around 25% body fat. That may be due to the fact that I am not strict about his rules. I tend to consume more fat than he recommends. And I take the occasional "mulligan" and ignore the rules.
Galina L. said…
I mean a pressure cooker. After it starts whistling, I keep it on a stove for two hours , three if bones are with marrow, for chicken bones one hour would be plenty. I usually do not put vinegar because my pressure-cooker is made out of aluminum. Actually,I do it on a small electrical stove in my garage because that whistling sound gets on my nerves. I always make a broth when turkey carcass is available. In my family we have to have soup every day, it is broth-based with veggies, often the main veggie is a cabbage. When I have no bones, I get couple turkey drumsticks from a store. The taste of a turkey broth is completely outstanding,even may be it is less nutritious than a marrow bone broth.
I use organ meats, especially grass-fed liver(not for soup) and a beef tong. The most affordable kind of meat. Chile made out of tong has a very nice texture.
Wolfstriked said…
Thanks Tsimblist,and yeah its all about calories.He recommends eating no fat for quick weightloss and also dropping fruit to two pieces per day.No processed carbs and mainly using potatoes and rice.Its so easy its amazing!And yes I can see getting too skinny.I am not getting looks from females even 4 days in and thats because I look very muscular with clothes on and now I look less.But looking good naked is totally different than looking good with clothes on so I just disregard what people say or think.

I tell you I feel great and past three days my insomnia has improved immensely.Passing out at 09:30 instead of usual midnight makes a huge difference in how I look and feel.Except for the pound of pasta night but 1600cal at night loaded with sodium is not pleasant to any body.My skin looks better,weightloss is FINALLY happening and I have no hunger whatsoever.

Today I ate a large bowl oatmeal with two bananas smashed in and Splenda.Lunch was a big plate of rice with black beans,onions,green peppers,jalepenos and some fat free French drizzled on top.Right now I am baking a bunch of small red potatoes to be eaten mixed with alot of white rice and frozen corn.Its basically Vegan but I will eat a bit of lean meat here and there as I did when I got chicken noodle soup that has some in it.Its crazy how you wonder where you will get protein but nutritionally a Vegan diet based on starch(who knew???)supplies a good amount.

I remember 20 yrs agao when I first found Atkins and my friend first found fat free.He kept telling me to try it and I declined because I would get sever hypo but amazingly I am super stable right now.I run into my friend every now and then and he is still super low fat(eats lowfat meats though)and looks great!
Lerner said…
@Tsimblist and Wolfstriked: my casual impression is that some people will do best mainly on carbs, some on fat, and the rest are in between. From your own experience, does that seem plausible to you?

To my mind, that would be based on physiology just as there are ectomorphs, mesomorphs, endomorphs - or just as there are different types of muscle fibers that make some more suited to marathoning versus weightlifting versus sprinting.

P.S. Since watching two of those videos, I'm thinking about going without animal protein for one day per week - being an intermittent starchosaurus :)

But several years ago I did do very low fat for a few months, and lacked vitality. So one day a week might be enough, for me anyway.
Wolfstriked said…
Lerner,I am all for differences in individuals a deciding factor in what to eat.But for myself I have been slowly over the years feeling that I am not made to eat a high fat diet.Reasons being that I suffer from Steatorrhea which is fat in my stools.And also I get this weird indigestion when I eat high fat with an annoying burping feeling.I eat at 5am and am still burping up breakfast at 12noon.

Then Mcdougall stated that primates have two genes for amalyase while humans have up to 16.That makes sense to me that we are evolved to eat more starch since amalyase is an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar for absorption.I get no indigestion and excellent excretion from carbs too.

As for the Inuit and VLC,Mcdougall makes sense when he says that they are people living on the fringes of what is adaptable to.I have always felt weird adding tons of fat to my diet.I also wanna add that this could be the honeymoon phase and I will ride it out and see where it takes me.
Tsimblist said…
@Lerner: I wonder about that too. I have a niece who once tried to explain the Blood Type Diet to me. I wasn't paying too much attention at the time because I was happy with McDougall.

I still haven't put much effort into understanding that diet. But it is an attempt to provide different diets for different people. And I think that according to that approach, McDougall would be wrong for me.
Tsimblist said…
@Wolfstriked: I agree about the honeymoon phase. I am certainly happy that it is working well for you. And I suspect it would help many others. But I know from experience that evangelistic zeal is not well received by most.
Wolfstriked said…
Yeah I have been around the internet nutrition world long enough to know that pushing your diet on someone is not taken lightly.I just overlook the negative as much as I can and I try not to push anything on anyone.

Carbsane's website though is for brushing aside the faiths of others and doing what you learn and believe to be proper yourself.Its a learning place compared to how the nutrition zealot sites are.It kills me when LC'ers call people stupid for eating a ton of fruit or potatoes and vice versa when any diet follower bashes VLC.
Galina L. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
CarbSane said…
@Wolf: Do keep us updated how you're making out. When I started on this journey (AFTER losing my weight on a lower fat version of VLC), I was looking for confirmation of eating as I was for the long term. I wasn't losing any more weight. Honestly, two years of hanging around the LC internutrition-net is enough to turn one off on the lifestyle. Honestly the promoters are worse by 10 than the radical low fatties! I truly do want to see folks find what works for them and I do see many trapped in a VLC lifestyle that no longer is working for them.

I know you mention you're a drinker, but the burping, etc. sounds like perhaps you have gall-bladder/bile issues and perhaps a fat malabsorption problem. T'would explain why you do better on a low fat diet.

Thanks for sharing!

@Lerner: Intermittent Starchasaurus! Love that :)

@Tsimblist: The thing about the BT diet that bothers me is that if my Dad was O- and my Mom AB+, then I could be A+ or -, or B+ or -. A diet best for me would not be that for either of the people I inherited half my genes from. That doesn't make much sense to me!
Wolfstriked said…
Does the radical attitude stem from not losing weight? Does the anger come from their diet not being the bees knees it was cracked to be? The Weight Watcher crowd seem so happy and just live life it seems.Recently I read an interview where Jennifer Hudson says its a daily struggle to keep the weight off but she acknowledges this hardship.The LC crowd on the other hand just do not/will not/never will etc etc believe that there "diet" is the end of obesity for the planet earth.So they get angry deep inside when the fat starts to build eating to appetite.

Matt Stone was pushing the eat all you want and more to bump the metabolism and I do not discredit him because as he points out he is just trying to learn.But I feel that mayabe being at optimal temp is not good in a realistic world.We are fighting our genes and our human survival instinct by thinking that we will find the holy grail in diet and be able to live happily ever after......
@wolfstriked funny you should mention Weight Watchers - I have been an online member for a while now; that's how I lost my weight & continue to maintain it. yes, it is a struggle as J.Hud pointed out, but I've found that eating in a more "paleo'ish" way definitely helps me from day to day. I do have disagreements with other members still struggling to get to goal that you can eat "anything" in moderation; I've not found that to be true in my case. But as long as I eat predominately "real" food and stay away from wheat or anything containing High Fructose Corn Syrup, and accurately track my "points" day in & day out, the program defo works I've found.
Diana said…
@Wolfstrikes, @Fashion, etc.

I no longer feel that controlling my caloric intake is a struggle, because I get so much positive feedback from having lost weight - but I do feel that getting in enough exercise is.

Does anyone else feel this way?

I exercise some every day, but I keep feeling I should get in more. And more. And more.

I wonder if I've displaced my "more, more more" feelings about food to exercise.
Galina L. said…
I had period in my life when I was in the "more, more, more" phase. It is wonderful to feel strong. I ended by doing just cardio 1.5 hours every day, not counting yoga and walking. The result of it will be most likely burn-off or sport injury. In order not to waste that wonderful desire to move, start interval training every other day, and push yourself really hard during short intervals for 30 sec to 1 min, with 1 min to 4 min in-between of moderate effort.During one day of the week you may do just an extra-long work-out. You goal should be to feel completely spend after 6 - 8 repetitions.Spent to the point you will need the day-off. Try to walk more during non-exercise days. Make sure you are not trying to compensate some diet relapses with exercise.
@Diana oy, moderation, LOL - that's something I've never had much of a problem with, be it food, Actually, the other night my husband had the noive to tell me I was a workaholic, and I was offended at first. He then laughed in my face (cheeky hubs) and I had to concede he may (may!) have a point.

@galina I love interval-training as well - great results for relatively small time investment in terms of building enough muscle so I can wear sleeveless tops without embarassment & keep my fat pants in retirement
Wolfstriked said…
Kool Fashion,I once got into shape where I had alot of muscles and a 6 pack but was down to 900 cal a day to keep it.This was at 21 yrs old and now at 42 I will definitely still need to go back to that level to get ripped again.But 1200 for me is a lean I like and comfortable.And I am a guy with a hard job moving,lifting heavy etc.For me its just rice,potatoes,bagels and some fruit as my new diet.I know its counter to what LC says but I will keep everyone posted and be honest about it.Here is a con I face gets flushed after a meal then goes away awhile later.A plus I notice is hangovers are very mild....and I know I need to ease off the alcohol.

Diana,I agree with the intervals as being excellent.When I do them I experience this shift in my look.Its like all of a sudden one day I pass a mirror and do a dbl take.I then look and see a younger me and by that I mean my skin just looks incredible.I factor that into the way interval training forces a high VO2 max and hence your body is super oxygenated....aka your fit.And being fit means your body burns more fat doing any activity which is a super plus.I have always felt that the reason we get fatter when we age is not due to a drop in metabolism but instead a drop in VO2 max condition.You see heavy people huffing and puffing climbing stairs and skinny people rarely out of breath.