Lysine is an essential amino acid that serves as a building block for protein. Our body does not produce this amino acid so we get it from our diet. The lysine amino acid function varies from muscle turnover to immune function to normal growth and it also helps in the production of carnitine. This carnitine is a substance that can be found in the majority of the body cells. It also carries fat into the cells where they will be burned up to produce energy. There are two forms of this lysine but the body only utilizes the L form. This form can also be found in foods and supplements.
Lysine is very useful in the body, it helps to build proteins and the proteins build immune cells, hormones, and enzymes. Lysine combines with a specific antioxidant to reduce the growth of cancer cells in mice. People with diabetes can have their blood sugar reduced with the help of lysine. There is also the possibility of lysine helping in the reduction of high blood pressure. Several other health benefits are associated with this amazing amino acid called lysine, let’s have a look at them.
Amino Acid Lysine: Its Functions and Health Benefits
1. Treats and protects against cold sores
When you have an infection fever blisters or cold sores are usually part of the symptoms. They often appear on the corners of the lips. These blisters are fluid-filled and can cause tingling, burning, pain, and discomfort. In addition to this, they make you extremely self-conscious. Herpes virus is responsible for cold sores. This herpes simplex virus types 1 hides in the spine and during the period when your immune system guards are weakened, the virus attacks. It stimulates cold sore development.
Supplements of lysine may assist in preventing this virus from replicating. It might also help in reducing the period of the cold sore. Lysine is thought to block arginine, a different amino acid that is needed for the herpes virus to multiply. A study conducted on twenty-six people prone to continual cold sores discovered that 1000mg supplement of lysine on a daily basis would minimize their cold sores.
It should interest you to know this study observed that the cold sore breakout was reduced when the blood lysine level of the person was maintained above 165nmol/l. if the level dropped below this then the breakout of cold sores increased.
Another study carried out on thirty people discovered that using a cream containing lysine, vitamins, zinc, and herbs treated forty percent of these people who had cold sores by the third day, and by the sixth day, eighty-seven percent of these people were free from cold sores. However, this study does not indicate the quantity of lysine and the ingredients used in making the cream.
It is important to note that not every study has proven lysine to be effective in minimizing the occurrence of cold sores or its duration. A review stated that the evidence needed to recommend it for cold sore treatment was insufficient.
2. Reduces anxiety
This amino acid might also have a role in anxiety decline. A study discovered that lysine blocks receptors associated with a stress response. Rats were given lysine under observation and their free bowel movements which were stress-induced was reduced drastically.
For one week, fifty healthy people were observed and it was noticed that when 2.64g supplements of arginine and lysine were administered, their anxiety which was stress-induced declined, and the stress hormone level was also reduced. Also in some parts of Syria, 4.2 g of lysine was added to their 2.2ounces of wheat flour and this helped to lower the anxiety of their males with a high level of stress. After the third month, this lysine-rich flour also reduced the stress hormone level in their women.
People with a mental disorder called schizophrenia can be helped with lysine. This disorder disrupts the person’s mental representation of the world and this makes the person unable to understand the real world. Though the study is still ongoing, lysine might be able to relieve some of the schizophrenia symptoms along with some other prescribed medications.
3. Improves calcium retention and absorption
Lysine is said to assist the body in holding calcium. Lysine is believed to increase gut absorption of calcium and helps the kidney to retain the calcium. Thirty women were studied, fifteen of them had osteoporosis and the other fifteen were healthy. They were all given supplements of lysine and calcium and at the end of these days, it was discovered that the calcium level in their urine was reduced. Some of the women were given only 3gms of calcium and the level of calcium in their urine increased progressively. However, some women received 400mg of lysine and the amount of calcium lost through their urine was lesser.
Lysine is also believed to protect the bones and might have a say in regulating the transportation of calcium in the body. Lysine prevents calcium from building up in the blood vessels of rats. This buildup usually leads to heart disease. Furthermore, a study done in a test tube showed that when cell growth takes place without lysine there will be an increase in calcium movement out of the cell. Cells that had lysine did not show this increase.
We have listed out most ways by which lysine amino acid functions, though some of the benefits cannot be a hundred percent guaranteed they have a high chance and studies are still ongoing on this subject. In the meantime make sure to eat enough food that would supply your body with lysine. Some of these food includes beef, prawns, lamb, avocado, peppers, peas kidney beans, chickpeas, mussels, potatoes, and salmon. There are also some available supplements that can supply lysine to our nobody they should be taken with recommendations.