The potential beneficial effect of glycine on the carbohydrate moieties of glycoproteins in an experimental model of alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity

J Med Food. 2004 Spring;7(1):108-13. doi: 10.1089/109662004322984798.


Glycine is known to have a protective role against alcohol-induced liver damage. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of glycine on liver and brain glycoproteins in alcohol-fed rats. Administering ethanol (7.9 g/kg of body of weight) every day to Wistar rats for 60 days resulted in significantly elevated levels of liver and brain hexosamine, fucose, and sialic acid and significantly reduced levels of total hexoses as compared with those of the control rats. Simultaneous glycine supplementation (0.6 g/kg of body weight) during the last 30 days of the experiment to rats given alcohol normalized the levels of hexosamine, fucose, and sialic acid and elevated the levels of total hexoses in the liver and brain significantly as compared with unsupplemented alcohol-treated rats. Microscopic examination of alcohol-fed rat liver showed inflammatory cell infiltrates and fatty changes, which were reversed on treatment with glycine. Similarly, alcohol-treated rat brain demonstrated edema, which was markedly reduced on treatment with glycine. Thus glycine administration plays a significant role in reducing the toxicity of ethanol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / toxicity
  • Glycine / administration & dosage
  • Glycine / therapeutic use*
  • Glycoproteins / drug effects
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / drug therapy*
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Glycoproteins
  • Ethanol
  • Glycine