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L-Lysine : Health Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects And More

Lysine

Amino acids are the basic molecules of protein. Proteins are formed by the combination of various amino acids. These are essential for the proper growth of the human body. Amino acids are used to break down food, and repair body tissues. It is also essential for growth and other body functions. Amino acids are classified into three categories. First, essential amino acids, second, non-essential amino acids, and third, conditional amino acids.

The human body cannot produce essential amino acids. And therefore, they must be consumed from an outer source, which in our case, is our food. Non-essential amino acids are those that our bodies can produce themselves. And therefore, it is not necessary to consume these through food. On the other hand, conditional amino acids are those which are, in general, not essential but may be essential in case of illness and stress.

L-Lysine is one of the nine essential amino acids, namely, isoleucine, leucine, histidine, methionine, threonine, phenylalanine, valine, and tryptophan. A healthy and required amount of L-Lysine can easily be gained through a well-maintained nutritious diet. Products like eggs, dairy, fish, and eggs are rich in L-Lysine. There is still a lot of information regarding L-Lysine, which is less known to the common people. With this article today, we are here to bring you all the essential information regarding this amino acid in one article.

What is L-Lysine :

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means it is necessary for the growth and development of the human body, but the body cannot produce it. Thus L-Lysine needs to be consumed either through food or supplements.

Each of your meals need not provide your body with L-Lysine. However, a balanced proportion of L-Lysine consumed throughout the day is enough to maintain the required amount of it in the human body. L-Lysine is also essential for the production of proteins.

Along with it, L-Lysine is responsible for the production of carnitine. Carnitine is a nutrient that is responsible for producing energy from fatty acids. The presence of carnitine thus helps in lowering cholesterol levels.

L-Lysine is also found to be effective in increasing the body’s calcium absorption. It is needed for producing collagen. Therefore, it is beneficial for the good health of cartilages, tendons, and also skin.

What is L-Lysine used for :

Now as we know what basically L-Lysine is, let us get into what is it useful for. L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. That means our body cannot produce it, so it has to be consumed from an external source. The human body can capture L-Lysine from sources like dairy products, fish, meat, eggs, etc.

It is said that L-Lysine possibly cures cold sores. Cold sores ( scientifically called herpes labialis) are known to be possibly cured if L-Lysine is consumed through the mouth. However, there is no evidence to prove if it helps when applied to the skin directly.

People also assume that L-Lysine is helpful in canker sores, diabetes, and even athletic performance, but no scientific research backs these assumptions.

Studies however confirm that it is effective in keeping body glucose levels under check. As a result, it proves to be useful for diabetic individuals. It also is found to be effective in cases of high blood pressure.

What are the symptoms of L-Lysine deficiency :

Although L-Lysine deficiency is rare as a healthy diet is capable of providing the human body with the required amount of it. However, individuals may suffer its deficiency in certain conditions.

The symptoms that indicate that your body lacks the proper and required amount of L-Lysine are listed below:

1. Poor concentration

2. Nausea

3. Fatigue

4. Anemia

If you experience these symptoms there is a high chance that you have L-Lysine deficiency. However, it is suggested that you get a consultation from your physicist and then only think about taking L-Lysine supplements.

What is the source of L-Lysine :

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. That means our body cannot produce it, so it has to be consumed from an external source. It can be easily consumed through our diet. A healthy individual with no prevailing disease can consume about 3 g of L-Lysine without any side effects.

Some food items rich in L-Lysine and are proven L-Lysine sources are listed below:-

1. Meat

2. Eggs

3. Fish

4. Soybean

5. Cheese

6. Fenugreek seeds

Apart from food items, you can also consume L-Lysine supplements to fulfill your body’s daily demand for L-Lysine.

If you are skeptical about taking supplements but sure about increasing your L-Lysine intake, it is best to ensure a high protein diet three times a day.

Benefits of L-Lysine to our body :

  • Cold sores caused due to the herpes simplex virus can be controlled to a great extent by L-Lysine. The consumer must avoid a diet high in arginine during the period when he is on a high L-Lysine diet. Arginine is likely to worsen the herpes simplex virus and as a result, may worsen your cold sores.
  • L-Lysine is proven to be very effective in treating cold sores, however, more studies are needed to completely prove these findings.
  • L-Lysine enhances the body’s calcium absorption and retention.
  • L-Lysine is also helpful in the absorption of minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium. Studies also reveal that L-Lysine is effective in keeping glucose levels under control and thus is beneficial for diabetic individuals.
  • L-Lysine is also important for the production of collagen and thus is essential for the development and growth of muscles, skin, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and bones. The presence of a good amount of collagen promotes the fast healing of wounds.

How much L-Lysine is good enough :

Going through this long list of benefits that L-Lysine brings with it, looks like it can be a solution to basically everything. But does that mean a very large amount of L-Lysine will be good? Will a higher concentration of L-Lysine in our body ensure better health and other benefits?

Well unfortunately the answer is no. Everything comes with two sides both good and bad. Too much L-Lysine can cause a large number of side effects.

500 mg of Lysine two to three times a day is enough to bring you all its goodness. Researches reveal that 3000 mg of L-Lysine consumption through the mouth for a period of about one year is safe and will cause no to minor side effects. These minor side effects include stomach aches and diarrhea. However, L-Lysine application on the skin is mostly safe for almost all individuals.

When should the L-Lysine supplement be taken :

Although L-Lysine deficiency is rare, as a healthy diet is capable of providing the human body with the required amount of it. However, individuals may suffer its deficiency in certain conditions. However, if you are prescribed L-Lysine supplements you may be wondering what is the best time to consume them.

While any supplement taken at whatever hour of the day is equally effective and no ‘best time’ of consumption can be prescribed. However, it is said that it is better to take your L-Lysine supplements in the morning hours. This is so because studies reveal L-Lysine is most effective if consumed in warm water on an empty stomach.

If you are skeptical about taking supplements but sure about increasing your L-Lysine intake, it is best to ensure a high protein diet three times a day.

FAQs :

What is the use of the drug L-Lysine?

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. That means our body cannot produce it, so it has to be consumed from an external source. The human body can capture L-Lysine from sources like dairy products, fish, meat, eggs, etc.
It is said that L-Lysine possibly cures cold sores. Cold sores ( scientifically called herpes labialis) are known to be possibly cured if L-Lysine is consumed through the mouth. However, there is no evidence to prove if it helps upon application to the skin.
People also assume that L-Lysine is helpful in canker sores, diabetes, and even athletic performance, but no scientific research back these assumptions.

Can one take L-Lysine every day?

It is considered safe to consume L-Lysine every day as it does not pose any serious side effects. Although it is always suggested that you consume it only if prescribed and that too only the prescribed dosage.
It is rare to observe L-Lysine deficiency as a healthy diet is enough to provide it to your body. Some individuals may still experience it, in such conditions you can take its supplements without fearing serious side effects.

How much L-Lysine is good to consume on a daily basis?

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. That means our body cannot produce it, so it has to be essentially consumed from an external source. It can be easily consumed through our diet. It is recommended that one should intake at least 500mg of L-Lysine two to three times a day.
Researches reveal that 3000 mg of L-Lysine consumption through the mouth for a period of about one year is safe and will cause no to minor side effects. However, it comes with one condition the consumer must avoid a diet high in arginine when on a diet high in L-Lysine.
Chocolates, dairy products, and nuts are high in arginine content. Therefore their consumption must be avoided when on a diet high in L-Lysine. It is so because L-Lysine heals herpes labialis, whereas high arginine content may make it worse.

Who should not take L-Lysine?

It is recommended that you take L-Lysine only when prescribed by your doctor.
It is unknown if L-Lysine affects an unborn baby. Therefore it is suggested that pregnant women must avoid consuming it. It is also not known if L-Lysine passes on to breast milk. So, lactating mothers should also avoid its consumption.
L-Lysine increases the body’s capacity to absorb calcium. So, if you are on calcium supplements, you should avoid consuming L-Lysine. Apart from it, people having gastrointestinal medicines should also not take L-Lysine.

What side effects can one face after consuming L-Lysine?

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. That means our body cannot produce it, so it must be consumed from an external source. It can be easily consumed through our diet. A healthy individual with no prevailing disease can consume about 3 g of L-Lysine without any side effects.
Researches reveal that 3000 mg of L-Lysine consumption through the mouth for a period of about one year is safe and will cause no to minor side effects. These minor side effects include stomach aches and diarrhea.
However, L-Lysine application on the skin is mostly safe for almost all individuals.

How is L-Lysine beneficial in the case of COVID-19?

L-Lysine is an amino acid and works as a building block of proteins. Proteins help in the production of essential hormones, enzymes, and immune cells.
L-Lysine proves to be beneficial in preventing COVID-19 as it blocks arginine. Arginine is responsible for spreading viruses throughout the human body. L-Lysine is also helpful in the absorption of minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium.
Studies also reveal that L-Lysine is effective in keeping glucose levels under control and thus is beneficial for diabetic individuals.
Food can provide your body with the required amount of L-Lysine but to make sure that its presence enhances your immune system, you must take its supplements.

Conclusion :

L-Lysine being an essential amino acid must be consumed either through food or supplements. Its presence in an appropriate amount is essential for the proper growth and development of the human body. As per studies, 500 mg of L-Lysine consumption is more than enough for your body to grow properly.

L-Lysine consumption is not linked to serious side effects, however, its excess can always be harmful. It is thus suggested that only the prescribed amount is consumed.

L-Lysine is a building block of protein and thus if you do not want to rely on L-Lysine supplements then 3 portions of a high protein diet a day will ensure that your body gets all the required essentials for growth and development.