Amino acids are known as the main building blocks of proteins. They are vital for healthy bodies and currently, there are a number of clinical studies and research delving into the possible use of amino acids to fight and possibly, cure cancer. In this regard, the amino acids principally in focus, include serine and glycine.
About Glycine and Serine
Both glycine and serine are non-essential amino acids. Glycine is a vital component in the production of various amino acids, and it is also instrumental in the regulation of quite a number of body processes, such as the central nervous system and the digestive system. L-glycine forms the major building block of L-serine.
These two amino acids also play an important role in cell production and as such, they are vital in the functioning of DNA and RNA. Several studies now believe that these particular amino acids have the potential to influence cancer cells, hence, the heightened research involving them around this matter.
Stopping the growth of cancer cells
In relation to cancer therapies involving glycine and serine, rather than increasing the availability of these acids into the body to fight the cancerous cells, it is the reduction of their intake that has been found to have a positive effect on the cancer cells. In one of the studies, it was observed that when glycine and serine were removed from the diet of mice with cancer, the growth of the cancerous tumors was slowed down and the length of the lives of the mice also increased.
Dependence of cancer cells on glycine and serine
This is believed to have been possible from the fact that healthy cells possess the ability to generate good levels of glycine and serine, and the cancer cells have a heavy dependence on these amino acids from the diet to propagate. Therefore, by cutting the supply of these amino acids from the diet, the growth and propagation process of the cells are effectively hampered.