Lysine is a form of amino acid that is essential, a type of amino acid that individuals need to get from the food items they consume. It may provide several health benefits for individuals who will use it as a supplement. These possible health benefits of lysine include blood pressure management or reduction, and the alleviation of cold sore symptoms. But what really is lysine?
This amino acid is also called L-Lysine and is critical in the accomplishment of certain functions of the human body. Amino acids are commonly described as protein’s building blocks. This is because they mix in with other substances to produce this specific macronutrient. The medical field has also classified Lysine is an essential amino acid which means that the human body is unable to synthesize this amino acid, hence, Lysine is usually acquired through the food items consumed by individuals.
What are some of Lysine’s Health Benefits?
For the body to be able to function properly, the recommended levels of Lysine are needed. This is because lysine is an integral part or component of proteins that can help the human body in the development of muscle and tissue as well as aid the body during recovery. Some of the other benefits of Lysine include immune system support, production of hormones, antibodies, and enzymes, promotion of collagen growth, and absorption by the body of zinc, iron, and calcium.
People can develop several adverse health symptoms if they do not get enough levels of lysine. These symptoms include reproductive system problems, anemia, growth inhibition, anorexia, hair loss, red eyes, nausea, irritability, poor concentration, and fatigue.
Enumerated below are some of the specific health benefits of Lysine:
- Lysine may help patients with herpes- The herpes virus may be controlled by lysine. As such, the number of cold sore occurrences may significantly be reduced through Lysine supplementation. These cold sores are usually caused by the virus known as herpes simplex. This supplementation can also help patients with genital herpes. Experts advise patients with herpes infection history to take around 1,000 to 3,000 mg or milligrams of Lysine per day.
- Lysine may help in the management of blood pressure- A small study was able to gather data relating to the possible role of Lysine in the management of blood pressure. This is particularly true for patients with a lysine deficiency. Further research, however, is needed to confirm and establish Lysine’s effect on hypertension.
- Lysine may help patients with Type 2 Diabetes- Another small study showed that Lysine can slow down the increase of levels of glucose in the blood after a meal. This finding can lead to lysine as a possible future treatment for type 2 diabetes. Further studies are needed though to establish the actual long-term effects of these findings.
Lysine also has other health benefits and these include:
- Aid athletes in recovery during intense workouts
- Bodybuilders development of muscles
- Aid in the growth of hair
- Prevention of the buildup of plaque in the arteries
- Blood pressure management
- Shingles treatment
- Promotion of skin that is glowing and healthy
- Aid in calcium absorption through the prevention of osteoporosis and bone loss
- Relief from anxiety
- Prevention of muscle loss
- Aid in addressing old adult mobility issues.
What are the possible sources of Lysine?
A lot of food items actually contain lysine. Most of these food items are animal-based products such as dairy and meat. Vegans and vegetarians may opt to get their lysine from wheat germ and legumes instead. Some of the lysine-rich food items are enumerated below>
- Spirulina is a form of algae that is compressed by manufacturing companies to be sold in powder or tablet form
- Brewer’s yeast
- Wheat Germ
- Cottage Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Sardines and Cod
- Red Meat
It must be noted though that people will usually get enough lysine from their regular food intake and will no longer need any lysine supplements.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Lysine?
Lysine supplements are generally well tolerated and are considered safe for most people. Lysine supplements also have little to no side effects. Lysine supplements can be taken in doses of around three (3) milligrams or mg without experiencing any negative effects.
However, if individuals increase their intake of lysine, they may experience some other form of side effects such as stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. Some studies suggest that taking too much lysine can cause some Kidney issues and may actually raise the chances of developing high cholesterol and gallstones.
How is Lysine usually taken and what is the recommended dosage?
Lysine is usually taken orally but may also be applied topically or directly applied on the skin especially when treating cold sores. Experts recommend taking lysine on an empty stomach together with some water. Studies suggest that an individual weighing around seventy (70) Kilograms or Kg will ideally require 800 to 3,000 milligrams of lysine daily. The body weight of the person will determine how much Lysine they should be taking.
Adults should ideally take 12 milligrams or mg of Lysine per kilogram of weight (mg/kg). Children aged 11-12 years of age should ideally take 44 milligrams or mg of Lysine per kilogram of weight (mg/kg). On the other hand, Infants aged 3-6 months should ideally take 97 milligrams or mg of Lysine per kilogram of weight (mg/kg).