Nature provides us with a lot of compounds that can help ease a lot of health issues that we experience. One of these compounds is called L-lysine, it is an amino acid that has been talked about and researched a ton in the past couple of years.
If you want to find out more about what L-lysine can do for you. Then read the rest of our in-depth guide. We discuss the benefits, recommended dosage, uses, and more. Famous doctors like Dr. Oz and Dr. Axe have praised the different benefits that this amino acid can provide.
What is L-Lysine?
L-lysine is one of the nine essential amino acids that our body needs in order to perform certain vital processes. Since it’s an essential amino acid it can’t be made within the body. In fact, no animal is able to make Lysine on its own. Instead, we have to consume foods that contain L-lysine or take an L-lysine supplement.
This amino acid performs a variety of different functions in our bodies. L-lysine is crucial in building muscle and collagen, improving calcium absorption in our intestines, helps to increase creatine production, and helps in the creation of different antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. This is just a small list of the things that L-lysine does within our bodies.
There has been a lot of research that has been performed on L-lysine. These studies have begun to show that this amino acid can help treat a wide range of health issues from cold sores to treating anxiety.
L-Lysine Health Benefits
There are several different health benefits that you can receive from either eating foods high in L-lysine or taking supplements that contain L-lysine. Since we can’t make this essential amino acid within our body. We might have lower levels of L-lysine then what our body really needs to stay healthy.
Those that have an L-lysine deficiency will experience greater benefits than those that don’t. With that said, even if you don’t have a deficiency of L-lysine you could still benefit from taking it. The best way to get more L-lysine is to eat foods that contain high levels of it. Though, taking an L-lysine supplement is also suitable for those that don’t get enough in their diets.
Helps To Ease Anxiety Symptoms
L-lysine has been one of the best natural home remedies to help combat anxiety. The reason why it has been such a powerful anxiety reducer is that it’s able to lower stress hormones such as cortisol.
In a 2007 study, L-lysine was shown to reduce chronic anxiety in people who didn’t consume enough of this amino acid in their diets. There are several other studies that have come to the same conclusion that this study has.
Lowers the Occurrence of Herpes Virus Outbreaks
Those that have herpes outbreaks know how it can be completely devasting to their quality of life. The severity and length of time it takes sores to heal can be reduced by taking an L-lysine supplement or eating foods that contain high amounts of it.
Herpes can an irritating condition to have. But if you want to reduce the number of outbreaks you get then taking L-lysine is an easy and cheap way to do so.
Since cold sores and canker sores are a type of herpes virus L-lysine has been one of the better treatments that have been used successfully to get rid of these unwanted painful mouth sores.
Promotes a Healthy Gut
It’s important to maintain the flora (bacteria) in our gut because it’s essential to healthy digestion and even brain health. When the flora within our guts goes out of whack so does the rest of our body.
To help promote a healthy gut, L-lysine (Poly-L-Lysine) has anti-inflammatory effects that reduce inflammation within the intestinal tract. This ensures that the flora is as efficient as possible.
Increases Calcium Absorption
One of the leading causes of broken bones and bone pain for older people is osteoporosis. The main reason for this is because as we get older our bodies aren’t able to absorb calcium quite as readily as it did when we were younger.
L-lysine has been shown in studies to actually improve calcium absorption. The extra calcium that makes it to the bones will make them stronger and more resilient to everyday life.
Reduces Diabetes-Related Complications
It wasn’t until recently that L-lysine was found to be effective for diabetes-related problems. AGEs (advanced glycation end products) is a by-product of foods that have been heat process or cooked. AGEs can cause oxidant stress and inflammation which can wreak havoc on the body.
In normal healthy adults, AGEs usually cause no significant damage because the level of AGEs is minimal. But for those that have type 2 diabetes, the levels of AGEs are much higher. L-lysine has been found to actually lower levels of AGEs in those that have diabetes.
Cats & L-Lysine
Just like with humans, cats can also get a type of herpes called Feline Herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1). Within a few days of exposure, cats can experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and conjunctivitis.
Unfortunately, the cat’s immune system can’t get rid of this herpes virus. The virus lays dormant and can flare up at any time. Veterinarians have often prescribed L-lysine to help reduce the symptoms that cats get when breakouts do occur.
There has been a debate on whether L-lysine is actually effective in treating cats for FHV-1. A recent study from the American Journal of Veterinary Research concluded that L-lysine had little to no positive impact on cats that have FHV-1.
Even though this study had a negative outcome for L-lysine. There are many other studies that have shown it reduces the occurrence of outbreaks and symptoms for cats that have this herpes virus. And vets still prescribe L-lysine because they still believe it’s an effective treatment for FHV-1.
L-Lysine Daily Dosage
The best way to get the proper amounts of L-lysine into your body is eating foods that contain it. This is because you can’t take too much of it that way and your body will absorb other nutrients.
With that said, if you aren’t able to consume enough L-lysine in your diet. Then taking a supplement that contains this amino acid can be a great alternative. It will ensure that your body gets the right amount of this essential amino acid.
For the average person, the daily recommended value of L-lysine is between 800 – 3,000 milligrams a day. For those that are looking to treat a herpes outbreak, they may take an additional 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams daily.
When you are first taking an L-lysine supplement, read the instructions (I know common knowledge). Then increase your dosage until your ailment either dissipates or you have reached the maximum dosage you are allowed to take.
Foods High in L-Lysine
Like we have said, the best way to take L-lysine is by eating foods that contain high levels of it. There are many different types of meat and vegetables that contain this important nutrient. Below is a list of the foods that have the highest concentration of L-lysine.
– Black Beans
– Pumpkin Seeds
Possible L-Lysine Side Effects & Precaution
L-lysine, for the most part, is considered to be safe. For those that have experienced side effects from using L-lysine supplements, they are often considered to be minor. Some of the possible side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Usually, these side effects will subside with little to no intervention.
Just like with most supplements, those that are pregnant should avoid L-lysine supplements unless a doctor tells you to take it. The reason is that there is little research at all on if it affects the unborn baby or not.
L-lysine can provide its users with a variety of different health benefits. But for those that are HIV positive, L-lysine has shown to increase the viral load of HIV. For this reason, HIV patients shouldn’t use an L-lysine supplement instead they should only eat foods that contain it.
History of L-Lysine
L-lysine was first discovered in 1889 by Edmund Drechsel who was a German chemist. He was the first to isolate L-lysine from casein a type of milk protein. A few years after this groundbreaking discovery he was able to record its molecular structure.
In 1928, two scientists (Vickery and Leavenworth) conducted a variety of tests on L-lysine. They were eventually able to prepare L-lysine into a crystalline form. Later on, another duo of scientists (Fischer and Weigert) finally finished the synthesis of L-lysine.
Should You Use An L-Lysine Supplement?
L-lysine is an important essential amino acid that your body needs that it can’t produce on its own. While most people get the proper amount of it from their diets. There are others that either don’t or can’t.
Most people use L-lysine to help control their herpes outbreaks and getting rid of and preventing canker sores. This is where taking a supplement formation of this amino acid makes the most sense. It’s cheap and can be found easily at most supermarkets and health food stores.
Just like with any new supplement, you should speak with your doctor before taking. This is a precaution, you want to make sure that the supplement you are planning to take doesn’t interfere with any medications you are taking or with any health issue you may have.
Have you used L-lysine to treat any symptoms? Did it help you? We want to hear from you! Please leave a comment down below to share your experience with this amino acid.