Lysine (L-lysine): Benefits, Deficiency, RDI

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Lysine is an amino acid that is concentrated in muscle tissue and helps to absorb calcium from the intestinal tract, promote bone growth and collagen formation. Lysine has become popular for the prevention and treatment of herpes simplex infections.

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Lysine in combination with high doses of vitamin C has been suggested by Dr. Linus Pauling as a drug for heart disease because it reduces Lp(a) [lipoprotein (a)], which causes atherosclerosis.

What is Lysine

Lysine is an amino acid that is concentrated in muscle tissue and helps to absorb calcium from the intestinal tract, promote bone growth and collagen formation.

Lysine (L-lysine), being an essential amino acid (i.e. it cannot be produced by our body), has the ability to treat the symptoms of herpes.

It is metabolized in the body and produces acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) [1].

Lysine Health Benefits

Lysinei mproves the overall health of the body, promotes healthy cartilage and tissue formation, increases collagen production, fight certain diseases, treat migraine, osteoporosis, herpes simplex, increases bone density.

  • Antibodies Production: L-lysine provides a number of very important benefits: such a substance actually plays a fundamental role in the production of antibodies that fight various diseases. [2]
  • Collagen Production: It also helps in the formation and production of collagen: Lysine and vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen, an essential element in the creation of connective tissues such as bone, cartilage or skin. Collagen is an important protein in the body that is the essential matrix for connective tissues, skin, cartilage and bone. [3]
  • Calcium Absorption: Lysine is very important for the maintenance and absorption of calcium, a substance that strengthens the skeletal system and certainly contributes to the treatment of osteoporosis, as it helps our bodies to avoid excessive excretion through the urine. [4]

Consequently, people suffering from osteoporosis, which consists of a reduction in bone mass precisely due to a loss of calcium, can reap significant benefits from a constant and correct use of lysine.

  • Treating Herpes: Scientific studies have shown that L-lysine is capable of effectively treating herpes virus ulcers, precisely because it reduces the duration of this outbreak and at the same time the possibility of its recurrence. [5]
  • Injury recovery: This substance is also helpful for those patients recovering from injuries or medical surgery, as it helps build muscle and protein that can facilitate recovery. [6]
  • Preventing Migraines: Finally, L-lysine has been documented to play an important role in preventing migraines and maintaining healthy blood vessels. [7]
  • Heart Disease: Lysine combined with high doses of vitamin C has been suggested by Dr. Linus Pauling as a drug for heart disease because it reduces Lp(a) [lipoprotein (a)], which causes atherosclerosis and is an independent factor in heart disease, more important than cholesterol. Even more effective for lowering Lp(a) is to combine vitamin C and lysine together with high doses of niacin (vitamin B3).

Lysine Metabolism

Vitamin C is needed to convert lysine to hydroxylysine (C6H14N2O3), which is then incorporated into collagen.

Lysine is also metabolized by transaminase enzymes in the liver. Its metabolism depends on vitamins B6, B3, B2 and C and on iron and glutamic acid.

Recommended Daily Intake

The dietary requirement for lysine is estimated at 750 to 1000 mg daily. A deficiency can contribute to reduced growth and immunity, along with an increase in urinary calcium. This latter fact suggests that adequate lysine may help prevent osteoporosis through better absorption and use of calcium. [8]

Most people don’t need an extra L-lysine supplement, but nonetheless may have those at high risk of deficiency, including vegetarians, the elderly or athletes. These people should consume between 1.5 and 3 grams per day.

Regarding diseases such as, herpes sores or mouth ulcers and osteoporosis, consult your doctor if you intend to start taking lysine. He will be able to more accurately ensure the correct dosage, after carefully analyzing the particular physical conditions and health of each person, so as to avoid any adverse effects.

Spirulina powder and spirulina pills promote longevity
Spirulina is one of the foods with high concentrations of L-lysine

Lysine and Herpes Treatment

Lysine has become popular for the prevention and treatment of herpes simplex infections. Most studies have shown good results, particularly for oral herpes (herpes type 1). Almost 80% of the patients studied felt that taking 1 to 2 grams of L-lysine daily helped reduce their herpes outbreaks and symptoms. The percentage was lower for genital herpes (herpes type 2).

For people who appear to respond to lysine treatment, recent research suggests that the effective dose is 1500 mg daily (usually 500 mg three times a day) during an infection and 500 mg daily when there are no symptoms. [9]

You should keep in mind, however, that recurrent outbreaks of herpes can be a complex problem related to stress, weak immunity, poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, and that lysine therapy does not substitute for these factors.

Another view of herpes infections involves the ratio of lysine to arginine in the diet. A higher lysine to arginine ratio appears to help many patients reduce herpes outbreaks. Animal proteins provide higher ratios, almost always greater than 1:1 and often as high as 3:1.

Plant proteins provide lower ratios, usually 1:1 or lower.

In the prevention and treatment of herpes, avoiding arginine-rich foods and eating more lysine-rich foods can help. Lysine has no toxicity. Often, when someone stops treatment for herpes, they have an outbreak.

Lysine deficiency

A deficiency of L-lysine is very rare, given the large amount of it available in protein-rich foods. But it can happen from time to time, causing various health problems.

Among the most common symptoms caused by its deficiency in the body include nausea, anemia, a feeling of general fatigue, anxiety, difficulty in physical growth and kidney stones.

People who are most prone to deficiency are those who eat a diet low in protein. Foods namely with lean meat such as chicken or turkey, fish, eggs or nuts are rich in amino acids.

So if the diet is deficient, it will also be in relation to l-lysine L-lysine.

Among those at greater risk of deficiency are vegetarians and those who follow a macrobiotic diet without the above foods.

L-lysine Side Effects

Possible side effects from overdose:

  • allergic reactions,
  • kidney stones,
  • increased cholesterol and triglycerides
  • gallstones.
  • vomiting,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhea and
  • stomach cramps

Final Take

The side effects of L-lysine L-lysine are relatively minimal if the amount one takes is within the appropriate limits.

Among the allergic reactions it can cause are: swelling of the face, tongue and lips, difficulty breathing and severe sore throat.

It can sensitize those already suffering from obesity-related cardiovascular disorders.

Not recommended in pregnant women, during breastfeeding, or if you are trying to get pregnant .

And it is also not indicated in those suffering from kidney or liver disease.

L-lysine L-lysine, should not be taken together with arginine, since the latter can thwart the effects.

In case of occurrence of one or more of the following symptoms, you should immediately stop taking the product and consult your doctor or seek medical attention.

Important: The letter L before the name of an amino acid indicates that the amino acid is not synthetic, but is derived from natural sources. Keep that in mind when you purchase Vitamin supplements.

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