Archive for 'Lysine'


Posted on 03. Dec, 2010 by .


Lysine, or L-lysine, is an essential amino acid. That means it is necessary for human health but the body can’t manufacture it; lysine has to be gotten from food. Amino acids like lysine are the building blocks of protein. Lysine is important for proper growth, and it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Lysine appears to help the body absorb calcium, and it plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a substance important for bones and connective tissues including skin, tendon, and cartilage.

Most people get enough lysine in their diet, although athletes, vegans who don’t eat beans, and burn patients may need more. Not enough lysine can cause fatigue, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, agitation, bloodshot eyes, slow growth, anemia, and reproductive disorders. For vegans, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are the best sources of lysine.



Some studies have found that taking lysine on a regular basis may help prevent outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes. Not every study has shown positive results, however. One study found that taking lysine at the beginning of a herpes outbreak did not reduce symptoms.

Taken in adequate dosages, this amino acid has been scientifically proven to “slow down” and retard the growth of the herpes virus, as well as inhibit viral replication.  Viral replication is when the virus grows and multiplies in larger numbers.

Studies have shown that supplements of Lysine can reduce the frequency and intensity of herpes and cold sore outbreaks.

The outcome is likely to be more substantial if a supplement is taken that contains Lysine along with other nutrients that are indicated for herpes, such as Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids and Zinc, which have been proven in Clinical Trials to improve healing time and reduce the frequency of episodes.

These nutrients work cohesively together and along with Lysine can help to suppress outbreaks and strengthen the skin. Tip, don’t pass on the Bioflavonoids because they work in synergy with the other nutrients, making them more effectively utilized by the body. Bioflavonoids have also been demonstrated to help stop an outbreak before it starts.

How does Lysine work?

There are two amino acids that have been found to significantly influence herpes (the virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes), these are Lysine and Arginine.

Lysine can be a valuable weapon in reducing outbreaks and in healing the infection quickly, whereas Arginine can provoke outbreaks and is required by the herpes simplex virus to replicate and cause symptoms.

Tissue culture studies show that Lysine works by repressing the metabolism of Arginine, an amino acid that is essential for the herpes virus to replicate and become active.

For more information about the safety of taking Lysine supplements please read the article Is Lysine Safe? which addresses some commonly asked questions.

What foods contain Lysine?

Lysine is one of eight essential amino acids. It is a building block of protein that the body cannot synthesize from other sources and therefore must be obtained from our diet.

A healthy diet high in Lysine and low in Arginine can be helpful in reducing herpes and cold sore outbreaks. Taking an additional Lysine supplement can help to ensure the correct balance in the body,

This could include eating healthy amounts of foods rich in Lysine such as vegetables, fish, chicken, cheese, milk, brewer’s yeast and beans and avoiding foods such as nuts, chocolate, whole and white wheat, oats and gelatin, which are high in Arginine.

I have tried Lysine, it didn’t work. Why is that?

If you have tried Lysine before but didn’t find it helpful it may be because the dosage was lower than 1250mg per day.

This is due to the fact that clinical studies have shown that Lysine taken in small concentrations has a limited effect, if any, on the herpes virus.  When taken at a dosage of 1250mg per day or higher, the results are significant.

Is Lysine helpful for both genital and oral herpes?

Cold sores is commonly caused by HSV Type 1, whereas genital herpes is more commonly caused by HSV Type 2.Lysine, particularly in a high potency form, can help to restrict the virus’ “food” by naturally counter-reacting the levels of Arginine in the body.

If possible, the Lysine supplement should be combined with Vitamin C, Zinc and Bioflavonoids which work together to help restore, protect and strengthen the skin.

Since both HSV-1 and HSV-2 work in a very similar way (both viruses require Arginine to grow and replicate) these supplements can be very beneficial in managing conditions caused by both of these viruses.

What to look for in a Lysine supplement

When deciding on which brand of Lysine to take, try to find one that is manufactured from pure Lysine rather than a synthetic and if possible, one that also contains other beneficial nutrients such as Zinc, Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids.

These compounds work in synergy with each other (in other words they work better in the body when taken together) and will save a lot of money in the long run if purchased in one combined tablet.

Vitamin C and Zinc help the skin to repair, regenerate and heal more efficiently and Bioflavonoids improve the absorption of Vitamin C.  These supplements can help reduce outbreaks.

Vitamin C and Zinc both have wound healing properties and Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen (a fiber that connects and strengthens connective tissue, such as the skin).  Bioflavonoids are a natural antioxidant, free radical destroyer and immune booster.


Lysine helps the body absorb calcium and decreases the amount of calcium that is lost in urine. Because calcium is crucial for bone health, some researchers think lysine may help prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Lab studies suggest that lysine in combination with L-arginine (another amino acid) makes bone-building cells more active and enhances production of collagen. But no studies have examined whether lysine helps prevent osteoporosis in humans.

Dietary Sources:

Foods rich in protein are good sources of lysine. That includes meat (specifically red meat, pork, and poultry), cheese (particularly parmesan), certain fish (such as cod and sardines), nuts, eggs, soybeans (particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour), spirulina, and fenugreek seed. Brewer’s yeast, beans and other legumes, and dairy products also contain lysine.

Available Forms:

Lysine is available in tablets, capsules, creams, and liquids, and is usually sold in the L-lysine form.

How to Take It:


For children ages 2 – 12: Recommendations are 23 mg/kg/day or 10 mg per pound of body weight daily. Do not use lysine in children less than 2 years of age unless under the supervision of a health care provider.


For adults ages 13 and older: Recommendations are 12 mg/kg/day.

For adults with herpes infections: To treat symptoms, take 3,000 – 9,000 mg per day in divided doses. To prevent recurrences, take 1,000 mg 3 times per day.


Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Lysine in the diet is considered safe. High doses have caused gallstones.

People with kidney or liver disease should ask their doctor before taking supplemental lysine.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take supplemental lysine without talking to their doctor.

Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications or supplements, you should not use lysine supplements without first talking to your health care provider.

Arginine — Arginine and lysine share common pathways in the body. High levels of arginine may lower lysine levels in the body.

Alternative Names:

Amino acid K; L-lysine

thank you and references

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