Lysine (L-LYSINE)

Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH

High-lysine (or just lysine) is one of the essential amino acids that is a building block of many essential proteins that play important roles in sustaining health of our body.

Lysine is an essential amino acid vital in the make-up of critical body proteins. It is necessary for growth and development, tissue repair and enzyme production.

People with repeated cold sores and viral infections such as herpes would be well advised to include L-Lysine in their diet. It is also required for energy production, concentration and a healthy cardiovascular system.


– Lysine is well known for its effects in controlling viral infections. It can help correct the imbalances (excess dietary arginine) leading to herpes, the virus that can cause painful mouth sores and fever blisters. Studies show that lysine supplements help prevent breakouts and reduce the intensity of flare-ups.


– Lysine is also required for adequate absorption of calcium and for collagen formation (a vitamin C dependent process).

Lysine reduces pancreas inflammation.

– Lysine can enter metabolic pathways that eventually provide necessary ingredients for the production of energy. This is true of many of the amino acids and is the reason protein can be a source of energy (kcals).

– Lysine builds muscle protein, and produces hormones, enzymes, and antibodies

L-lysine (amino acid) helps convert fatty acids into energy and improves athletic performance taken together with the amino acid L-arginine. Athletes take L-lysine and L-arginine together to boost growth hormones and help muscles recovery when working out. According to one study, as a result of taking 1200 mg of L-lysine and the same amount of L-arginine human growth hormone was increased 8 times! Keep in mind that high levels of arginine may lower lysine levels in the body.

– Severe anxiety-like symptoms in schizophrenia, can be reduced by supplementing lysine (>).

It increases insulin secretion and lowers blood glucose.


Spirulina > contains much more Lysine than most other vegan foods. Lysine improves athletic performance and is the one amino acid that is actually not very easily available for vegans.


The recommended preventive intake of lysine is 1,000 mg (1 g) per day, and 3 grams is regarded as safe for therapeutic purposes when taken in three separate doses. However, some individuals (such as herpes patients) require regular use at higher doses (over 3g or up to 9 grams per day).


It is also important to be aware of the fact that L-carnitine, which is needed to release energy from fat, is made in the liver and kidneys from the amino acids methionine and lysine. Also vitamin C, B3, B6, and iron are required in this process. It means that deficiency of these nutrients will lead to insufficient production of L-carnitine I the body while their supplementation should increase L-carnitine synthesis.


Lysine is contra-indicated in people with the rare genetic disorder hyperlysinemia.

Pregnant and nursing women should only consider using lysine if their diets are low in this amino acid.

People with hepatic and renal failure should only use lysine with caution.

24 Abstracts with Lysine Research





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