Glycine is an amino acid. It can occur in two isomeric forms: D glycine and L glycine, which are structural isomers of each other. Among them, L glycine is the stable and most common isomer in organisms since only the L forms of amino acids are used by cells.
What is Glycine?
Glycine is an amino acid which is helpful in building proteins. That is; it is a building block of proteins and falls under the category of proteinogenic amino acids. Also, it has a single hydrogen atom as its side chain. Therefore, it is the simplest among the amino acids. Its chemical formula is NH2‐CH2‐COOH, and molar mass is 75.06 g/mol. Besides, it appears as a white solid at standard temperature and pressure. The melting point is 233 °C, and above this temperature, the compounds undergo decomposition. We can denote glycine by “Gly”.
The primary sources of glycine are meat, fish dairy products, legumes, etc. These are protein-rich food. Further, we can use glycine as a medication to treat schizophrenia, stroke, sleep problems, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), metabolic syndrome, etc. Other uses include the followings:
- As a component in food – as an additive in pet food and animal feed
- Cosmetic applications – serves as a buffering agent in cosmetics
- Chemical feedstock – useful for the synthesis of different organic compounds
What is L Glycine?
L glycine is an isomer of the amino acid glycine. There are two structural isomers of glycine as D isomer and L isomer. The L isomer or L glycine is the most common form because our cells use only this isomer. Therefore, L glycine is abundant in biological systems compared to the D glycine. Moreover, the properties and applications we discussed above are also for L glycine since it is the isomer that is important to us.
What is the Difference Between Glycine and L Glycine?
Glycine is a proteinogenic amino acid, and it has two structural isomers as D glycine and L glycine. So, the key difference between glycine and L glycine is that glycine is an amino acid which makes up proteins, whereas L glycine is an isomer of glycine.
Summary – Glycine vs L Glycine
The key difference between glycine and L glycine is that glycine is an amino acid that makes up proteins, whereas L glycine is an isomer of glycine. When we talk about glycine, we actually talk about L glycine because it is the most stable and common form in biological systems. It is because our cells use only the L isomer. Further, this compound has many applications, including medicinal applications.
1. “Glycine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” WebMD, Available here.