Huel, methionine and glycine

Hi. Here’s a rather technical nutrition question. I’d appreciate everyone’s thoughts on this, but especially @JamesCollier, of course. Basically, it’s been knows for a long time that restricting calories leads to longer life in most animals, most likely including humans. For some time it’s been clear that a large part of the reason for this is due to restricting proteins. Thus the protein cycling diet ( Now there’s mounting evidence that most of the benefits from restricting protein intake might come from restricting just one amino acid: methionine. Methionine is essential and consuming none of it is, besides very difficult, fatal. But restricting oneself to the minimal amounts of it has been shown to have a host of health benefits and significantly increases life span in mice. Google “methionine restriction” for details and studies. Plats proteins are generally lower in methionine than animal proteins, and this has been suggested as a large part of the reason for the health benefits of a vegan diet.

Now, Huel is vegan, with its protein coming from peas and rice. That’s good, since both of these sources contain relatively little methionine. However, Huel has a lot of protein, which means we still get 269% of the minimum recommended dose on 2000 kcal of Huel. That’s too bad.

There’s hope, though. Here’s a long and complicated thread on the Longecity forums talking about supplementing glycine: Basically, it seems glycine can play a role in getting rid of excess methionine, thus perhaps mimicking a methionine restriction diet without the need to severely restrict methionine (and thus protein).

So, I’m thinking of starting to add some glycine to my Huel. Huel already contains plenty of it, but there’s quite a bit of methionine, too. In the Longecity thread, there’s no clear consensus of how much glycine compared to one’s excess methionine one should consume to “counter” it, but on the other hand, it’s also clear that glycine is a common amino acid and it’s considered safe even in relatively large doses (though don’t go nuts). It’s also very cheap, much due to high demand from body builders. I haven’t yet settled on a daily dose and I might want to do some more research before I do, but I think this’ll be interesting to try.

What are your thoughts? Is it worth it to increase the glycine content? If so, by how much?

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Hi @Ari

I have come across the methione things before, but it’s not well researched enough for any conclusions. Indeed, is it merely a marker for something else going on?

How does supplementing glycine ‘get rid’ of the excess methionine and where does this methionine go?

Maybe. I’m just an interested spectator to all this research, but the way I’ve understood it, methionine, containing sulphur (as does cysteine), is more readily oxidized in proteins than other amino acids are. But even though the mechanism might not be entirely known, I think the increased lifespan from a methionine-restricted diet has pretty robust backing, in mice if not in humans.

According to Darryl in the LongeCity thread linked above: [quote=“Darryl”]And perhaps of most interest on this board, glycine supplementation appears to mimic methionine restriction, with clearance of excess methionine via glycine N-methyltransferase.[/quote]

There are a lot of links to studies in his post: but I don’t have access to a lot of them. I think I read that glycine supplementation increased methionine levels in urine? It’s all pretty early for all of this, so it’s certainly true that these are not robust findings readily transferable to personal nutrition. I find it interesting, though, as I’m very interested in lifespan extension.

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Thanks, Ari. Gotta be honest; I’m a skeptic! But I will have a peruse of some of those links in more depth. The glycine thing, I hadn’t come across before.

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Understandably. I’m a skeptic, too, trying to be aware of my own wishful thinking. But the folks at LongeCity are impressively well-read and educated, and uncompromisingly scientific, so I like to follow their debates from time to time, even though I’m not really qualified to weigh in myself.

@JamesCollier did you end up having a look at this? I am curious.

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Sorry, I forgot. I’ve set a reminder to look this week.

HI @rikefrejut - i’ve had a look. There are some studies on the methione issue, but the evidence is far from strong. Indeed, there is evidence out there that both protein restriction and higher protein intakes can ‘help’ the aging process.

Glycine is more interesting and there does seem to be evidence that it may have a positive role. However, the amounts needed for ‘benefits’ are easily met on a ‘trypical’ protein intake in a Western diet and Huel contains more than this (based on a 2,000 calorie inate).

Therefore, I see no reason to supplement with glycine nor worry about either amino acid.

Thank you very much for looking into this. I am happy about Huel being high in protein overall, while being low on methionine.

What’s described in this classic from Longo’s lab - Protein and Amino Acid Restriction, Aging and Disease: from yeast to humans - PMC - is troubling. For example:

To date, several studies have shown decreased age-related pathologies and lifespan extension through the modulation of protein intake [26, 3436]. Low protein diets have been demonstrated to reduce spontaneous tumor formation, as well as in mimicking the effects of CR in improving renal function [34]. In the past few decades it has also been demonstrated that PR or restriction in tryptophan or methionine, can extend longevity [26, 3739].

Since @JamesCollier’s most recent response, many more papers on this have been published, including in Nature. Perhaps it would be worth it to revisit?


The mechanism seems to be that glycine N-methyltransferase degrades methionine by taking a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine and methylating glycine to form sarcosine. This in turn leads to a decrease in insulin and insulin life growth factor 1. Sarcosine may also be protective in itself.

An increased life span seems to have been shown for mice and Drosophila, but how usefuld and applicable this is to human beings is unclear, as our metabolism is different to other species.

But apart from that: Who wants to live as long as possible in times like these? What does one need this time for? And will the future be as good as the present? I strongly doubt hat.

I need all the time I there is available to post mental garbage on the internet. Fancy joining me bro? I can be Thelma you can be Louise, I can be Butch you can be Sundance, I can be Hale you can be Pace. I can be PJ you can be Duncan, I can be Hitler you can be Hess, I can be the Lone Ranger you can be Tonto. I can be the man in black, you can be the man in blacker. I can be coffee you can be caramel.

Unless you have any better suggestions for pairings, I’m all ears.

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Obviously you don’t have the mental resources to comment on the main part of my post.

True dat. But it would just lead to more of your mental garbage so I don’t even attempt. Your other recent post is so inaccurate I dunno where to start. You do have the mental capacity to read food labels I guess?

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Det här var det mest briljanta jag läst, kan jag skicka pm? (Osäker på om den funktionen finns här, ny på forumet). Hur som helst vill jag gärna diskutera longevity och hälsa med dig för du verkar bättre påläst än någon jag tidigare träffat. @Ari

The same to you @triquetra011 I would love to discuss with you as well maybe. Might just be me, but seam so hard to find people who’re genially interested in this topics (longevity, healthy, biohacking) which are not crazy and repeating some carnivore stuff so I would love to connect with you.

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Hi @Sigrid, thank you, it is always great to meet someone who is understands :). The best way to keep in touch and exchange ideas on nutrition & positive lifestyle changes would be the wiki so please feel invited to join the revolutionaries and share your knowledge (e.g. your current protocols - I will be adding mine soon) if you are passionate about these subjects :slight_smile: