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Sarcosine, is a non-protein natural amino acid present as an intermediate during the stages of glycine synthesis and degradation [1,2] Sarcosine is broken down through action of sarcosine dehydrogenase to glycine. [2]

Benefits & side effects


Sarcosine was shown to benefit patients with long-term stable disease and also those individuals with schizophrenia [3].

Sarcosine on toluene-induced motor incoordination and recognition memory impairment and body temperature showed sarcosine alleviated the ‘block’ that toluene exhibits on the NMDA receptor [4].

Prostate cancer biomarker

Sarcosine has been shown to be implemented in prostate cancer; as a prostate cancer metabolome analysis revealed that sarcosine was elevated in metastatic prostate cancer [5].

Antidepressant effects

A single dose of sarcosine injected into animals demonstrated the anti-depressant effects of sarcosine as enhancing the AMPA receptor [6] No research has linked sarcosine to anxiety or social anxiety, and this should not be concluded from sarcosine’s role in depression.

Sarcosine and Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Sarcosine treatment for 10 weeks in individuals with OCD found a significantly reduced Yale-Brown obsessive compulsive score [7, 8].

Sarcosine and ADHD

A six-week clinical trial pilot study of sarcosine, aimed at evaluating the efficacy of sarcosine in treating children with ADHD. Researchers concluded that sarcosine might possibly be an agent for treating ODD in an ADHD context [9].

Memory and Learning

Sarcosine and D-serine were documented, in a schizophrenia context, as enhancing social memory in naive rats [10] More research is necessary to fully evaluate sarcosine’s role in memory.

Sarcosine Vs D-Serine

Comparisons of D-serine and sarcosine have shown that sarcosine treatment in patients with chronic schizophrenia is superior to that of D-serine. [11,12].

Sarcosine Vs Ketamine

Sarcosine has been compared to ketamine. Results have shown that N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) – which is a safe and non-toxic [13] precursor of sarcosine reverses ketamine-induced psycho-mimetic behaviors.

Sarcosine and/or glycine

Glycine ‘docks’ along the NMDA receptor just as sarcosine does. Results have shown that sarcosine is a strong ‘agonist’ candidate that also binds to the same sites of the NMDA receptor [14].

Sarcosine and cyanamide

Sarcosine and cyanamide both work together to form creatine [15, 16]. Creatine can provide energy requirements for vigorous muscle contraction, including improving physical performance. [17]

Sarcosine side-effects

The rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder, sarcosenemia, has been considered a harmless effect [18].


Dosages of 2 and 4 grams/day [19] been described as being tolerable. In addition, no significant events or abnormalities were observed over a week [19].

Other work has described sarcosine at a dosage of 2 grams per day as being well tolerated [20]. A double-blind study showed daily dosages of 1 and 2 grams of sarcosine, over 6-weeks showed minimal side effects and was well tolerated [21].


Experiments on evaluating what sarcosine can be supplemented with (stacked) have not been confirmed. Literature on ‘stacks’ has not been fully established, and one should not confuse D-serine and/or glycine – or any other structurally similar metabolites – as potential stacks with sarcosine.


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  1. Natalia Cernei, Zbynek Heger, Jaromir Gumulec, Ondrej Zitka, Michal Masarik, Petr Babula, Tomas Eckschlager, Marie Stiborova, Rene Kizek and Vojtech Adam, 2013. Sarcosine as a Potential Cancer Biomarker – A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14, 13893-13908. DOI: doi:10.3390/ijms140713893.
  2. Natalia Cernei, Ondrej Zitka, Marketa Ryvolova, Vojtech Adam, Michal Masarik, Jaromir Hubalek, Rene Kizek, 2012. Spectrometric and Electrochemical Analysis of Sarcosine as a Potential Prostate Carcinoma Marker. International Journal of Electrochemical Science, 7: 4286-4301.
  4. Ming-Huan Chan, Shiang-Sheng Chung, Astrid K Stoker, Athina Markou and Hwei-Hsien Chen, 2012. Sarcosine attenuates toluene-induced motor incoordiation, memory impairment, and hypothermia but not brain stimulation reward enhancement in mice. Toxicological Applied Pharmacology, 265(2): 158-165.
  5. Arun Sreekumar, Laila M Poisson, Thekkelnaycke M. RajendiranAmjad P. KhanQi Cao, Jindan Yu, Bharathi Laxman, Rohit Mehra, Robert J. Lonigro, Yong Li, Mukesh K. Nyati, Aarif Ahsan, Shanker Kalyana-Sundaram, Bo Han, Xuhong Cao, Jaemun ByunGilbert S. Omenn, Debashis Ghosh, Subramaniam Pennathur, Danny C. AlexanderAlvin BergerJeffrey R. Shuster, 2009. Metabolic Profiles Delineate Potential Role for Sarcosine in Prostate Cancer Progression. Nature, 457(7231): 910-914.
  6. uang-Ti Chen, Mang-Hung Tsai, Ching-Hsiang Wu, Ming-Jia Jou, I-Hua Wei and Chih-Chia Huang, 2015. AMPA receptor-mTOR activation is required for the antidepressant-like effects of sarcosine during the forced swim test in rats: insertion of AMPA receptor may play a role. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, 9, 162.
  7. Po-Lun Wu, Hsien-Yuan Lane, Hwa-Sheng Tang, Guochuan E. Tsai, 2012. Glutamate theory in developing novel pharmacotherapies for obsessive compulsive disorder: Focusing on N-methyl-D-aspartate signalling. Biomedicine, 75-79.
  8. Wu, Po-Lun, Tang, Hwa-Sheng, Lane Hsien-Yuan, Tsai, Chen-An, Tsai, Guochuan E, 2011. Sarcosine Therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Prospective, Open-Label Study.
  9. Ruu-Fen Tzang, Yue-Cune Chang, Guochuan E Tsai and Hsien-Yuan Lane, 2016. Sarcosine treatment for oppositional defiant disorder symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder children. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(10), 976-982.
  10. Toshiharu Shimazaki, Ayaka kaku, Shigeyuki Chaki, 2010. D-Serine and a glycine transporter-1 inhibitor enhance social memory in rats. Psychopharmacology, 209:263-270.
  11. Hsien-Yuan Lane, Ching-Hua Lin, Yu-Jhen Huang, Chun-Hui Liao, Yue-Cune Chang and Guochuan E. Tsai, 2009. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled comparison studyof sarcosine (N-methylglycine) and D-serine add-on treatment for schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology, 13: 451-460.
  12. Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of Open Label Sarcosine Added on to Anti-Psychotic Treatment in Schizophrenia – Preliminary Study
  13. Jen-Cheng Lin, Ming-Huan Chan, Mei-Yi Lee, Yi-Chyan Chen, Hwei-Hsien Chen, 2016. N,N-dimethylglycine differentially modulates psychotomimetic and antidepressant-like effects of ketamine in mice. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 71, 7-13.
  14. Mei-Yi Lee, Yi-Ruu Lin, Yi-Shu Tu, Yufeng Jane Tseng, Ming-Huan Chan and Hwei-Hsien Chen, 2017. Effects of sarcosine and N,N-dimethylglycine on NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory field potentials. Journal of Biomedical Science, 24:18.
  15. Andri L. Smith and Paula Tan, 2006. Creatine Synthesis: An Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratory Experiment. The Microscale Laboratory.
  16. Ivo Pischel and Thomas Gastner, 2007. Creatine – Its Chemical Synthesis, Chemistry, and Legal Status.
  17. Gianni Benzi, 2000. Is there a rationale for the use of creatine either as nutritional supplementation or drug administration in humans participating in a sport? Pharmacological Research, 41, 3.
  18. Maria V. Centeno, Amelia Mutso, Magali Millecamps, and A. Vania Apkarian, 2010. Prefrontal cortex and spinal cord mediated anti-neuropathy and analgesia induced by sarcosine, a glycine-T1 transporter inhibitor. Pain, 145(1-2): 176-183.
  19. Revital Amiaz, Ilan Kent, Katya Rubenstein, Ben Ami Sela, Daniel Javitt and Mark Weiser, 2015. Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of Open Label Sarcosine Added on to Anti-Psychotic Treatment in Schizophrenia – Preliminary Study. Israel Journal of Psychiatry Related Science, 52, 1.
  20. Hsien-Yuan Lane, Ching-Hua Lin, Yu-Jhen Huang, Chun-Hui Liao, Yue-Cune Chang and Guochuan E. Tsai, 2010. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled comparison study of sarcosine and D-serine add-on treatment for schizophrenia. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 13, 451-460.
  21. Hsien-Yuan Lane, Yi-Ching Liu, Chieh-Liang Huang, Yue-Cune Chang, Chun-Hui Liau, Cheng-Hwang Perng and Guochuan E. Tsai, 2008. Sarcosine Treatment for Acute Schizophrenia: A Randomised, Double-Blind Study. Biological Psychiatry, 63:9-12.
  22. Sarcosine -
Also known as:N-methylgycine, Methylglycine
Good for: , , , , , , ,
Stacks well with: Coming soon…
Typical dose:2 and 4 grams per day
Half Life :2 Hours