Amino acids are a vital part of the human diet.
Your body relies upon amino acids as a critical building block in proteins, which are in turn used to power your body and build muscle, among other duties.
While there are some 300 naturally occurring amino acids, not all of them serve as building blocks for protein.
Additionally, not all of them are produced naturally by the body.
L-lysine is one of the roughly 20 amino acids that play a critical role in the production of protein in the human body.
Here, learn about the ways that taking a lysine supplement improves your health.
What is L-lysine?
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, l-lysine is an amino acid that is essential for human health, but the body cannot produce it on its own.
L-lysine can be found in supplements and in certain foods, including meats, beans, nuts, fish, eggs, and cheese.
What is L-lysine Used For?
L-lysine is responsible for ensuring proper growth, producing collagen, and assisting with the conversion of fatty acids into energy.
For these reasons, it is important to ensure that your diet contains adequate amounts of l-lysine.
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Many of the benefits associated with L-lysine have yet to be proven through clinical trials and studies.
However, this does not mean there are no benefits to using Lysine supplements.
Numerous case studies of individuals taking L-lysine supplements have found that this amino acid provides your body with a great boost.
Lysine and Muscle Strength
√ Taking a lysine supplement may make you stronger.
A study published in 2012 in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that males’ muscle strength increased by 7.5 percent after 8 weeks of consuming a diet high in lysine.(1)
The Role of Lysine in the Prevention of Osteoporosis
√ Lysine may also play a role in preventing and treating osteoporosis.
A study published in a 1992 edition of the journal Nutrition found that lysine supplementation increased the absorption of calcium in the intestines of women with osteoporosis.(2)
Lysine supplementation also resulted in the conservation of calcium in the kidneys.
Lysine for Treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus
√ Lysine has been shown to be effective in the treatment of herpes simplex virus.
A study published in 1987 in the journal Dermatologica found that patients experienced a reduction in symptom severity and herpes outbreaks after 6 months of lysine supplementation.(3)
The Relationship between Lysine and Angina
√ Another health benefit of lysine is the reduction of angina, or chest pain.
A case study published in 1991 in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found that a 71-year -old man with coronary artery disease experienced relief from angina after being treated with lysine.(4)
Although the man was taking several medications to manage his condition, his symptoms of angina did not subside until he added lysine to his regimen.
The author of the study speculated that lysine might remove lipoproteins from fatty deposits in the arteries, thereby increasing blood flow.
Studies and clinical trials remain underway to investigate the potential benefits of L-lysine in providing relief to those suffering from shingles, reducing anxiety and stress levels, and boosting heart health.(5)
The trick to making L-lysine work for your body is to ensure that you are ingesting the proper amount.
High Doses Side Effects
Too much lysine and you could experience;(6)
- increased risk of gallstones
- elevated cholesterol
- abdominal cramps.
Lysine Deficiency Signs & Symptoms
- bone loss
- hair loss
- loss of appetite
- cholesterol issues
- and improper development.
While there are several potential health benefits associated with lysine, it is important to avoid over supplementation.
As the authors of a review published in a 2013 edition of the Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society have warned, the long-term use of lysine in doses above 3,000 milligrams per days is not recommended, as it can produce kidney damage.(9)
Consult your doctor to determine if lysine supplementation is safe for you.
Researches and references
(3)Griffith RS, Walsh DE, Myrmel KH, et al. Success of L-lysine therapy in frequently recurrent Herpes Simplex infection. Treatment and prophylaxis. Dermatologica 1987;175:183-190.