Lysine is one of the essential amino acids from our body. In fact, it is in charge of supplying the protein our body needs to grow. Moreover, it also helps to regulate the nitrogen balance from our organism. It also plays an important role in the regulation of cholesterol and in the production of calcium and collagen.
What is Lysine?
It is an essential amino acids for humans since the body cannot synthesize on its own. Therefore, we need to obtain it from food or dietary supplements. A person with a normal body weight of 70kg needs to take between 800 and 3000mg of lysine daily.
In fact, it is particularly useful to treat lip herpes caused the herpes simplex virus. It is also advised as a natural remedy against other health problems, such as genital herpes or zoster herpes.
Benefits for health
Adding a lysine supplement to our diet will have several benefits for our health, such as:
- Preventing osteoporosis
- Treating and preventing mouth ulcers
- Improving the functioning of the immune system
- Decreasing the anxiety and nervousness
Lysine and herpes
Herpes is painful, unsightly and contagious. Between a 60 and 90 per cent of the population has the herpes simplex virus. The cause of lip herpes is mainly due to an infection suffered during childhood.
In general, type 2 herpes is the cause of genital herpes. However, it can also affect the mouth and the genital area.
Some creams for the topical treatment of genital warts include lysine. Although it is not advised as a main treatment, we can combine it with other medicines. But it has to be supervised by a physician because it can have harmful interactions.
Lysine and collagen
Among the many properties of lysine, it plays a role in the growth and maintenance of the connective tissues. On the other hand, collagen provides the structure for the cells and keeps them in perfect condition.
Lysine and the immune system
This amino acid plays a very important role in the optimal functioning of the immune system. In fact, a deficiency of this basic amino acid involves the deterioration of the immune system.
That is why taking enough lysine is so important for our health. However, the body cannot produce this amino acid, which is why we need to take it from food or dietary supplements.
Many foods contain lysine, but it can be difficult for those who are allergic to some foods or who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. For them, the best thing would be taking dietary supplements. Moreover, we can enhance the immune system even further by combining said supplements with arginine.
Lysine and osteoporosis
Lysine improves the absorption of calcium by the organism and lowers the amount that is excreted through the urine.
Calcium is essential for the formation of the bones. That is why researchers think that lysine helps to prevent bone loss due to osteoporosis. However, this statement about the treatment of osteoporosis has not been tested on human beings.
Who can benefit from lysine supplements?
- People with metabolic disorders
- Cases of lysine deficiency
- Those who want to increase the calcium levels in the body
- Athletes and active people who want to improve their physical performance
- Those who want to treat pain
- People who want to reduce the anxiety and stress
Sources of Lysine
- Meat (specially red meat, pork and poultry)
- Cheese (particularly Parmesan cheese)
- Fish (like cod and sardines)
- Kidney Beans
- Dairy products
A deficiency can lead to:
In this case, a very high dose of arginine in the diet can lower the lysine levels. Therefore, if this happens, we would have to stop taking arginine.
Adults and children over the age of 13 can take 12mg a day per kg of body weight.
Many people take 1000mg daily in order to prevent a new outbreak. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor in order to make an individual dose according to your case.
Lysine dietary supplements are available in several forms (l-lysine or lysine) and formats (tablets, creams, capsules or liquid).
Opinions and summary
- Lysine is an essential amino acid that our body cannot synthesize. Therefore, we need to take it from the food we eat or from dietary supplements.
- The studies have proven that taking lysine regularly helps to prevent herpes outbreaks.
- In addition, it is also very important for growth.
- It also plays an important role in the production of carnitine. Carnitine is a nutrient that, along with the fatty acids becomes energy. Lysine also helps to lower the cholesterol levels.
- Uchiyama R, Kupkova K, Shetty SJ, Linford AS, Pray-Grant MG, Wagar LE, Davis MM, Haque R, Gaultier A, Mayo MW, Grant PA, Petri WA Jr, Bekiranov S, Auble DT. Histone H3 lysine 4 methylation signature associated with human undernutrition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 12. pii: 201722125. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1722125115.
- Dong W, Zhu X, Zhou X, Yang Y, Yan X, Sun L, Shang D. Potential role of a series of lysine/leucine-rich antimicrobial peptide in inhibiting lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation. Biochem J. 2018 Oct 29. pii: BCJ20180483. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20180483.
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