You may have heard, probably from several sources and many times, that lysine supplements might help you feel better and maintain your health. But you probably have a very common question: “What is lysine?”
Don’t feel like you’re just out of the loop or not as smart as other natural health enthusiasts. The fact is, lysine is a relatively unknown nutrient, but still a very important part of your overall health. You are far from the only person who doesn’t know what lysine is or what it does, but once you do know, you will likely want to make sure that you have adequate intake of lysine for your health.
What is Lysine?
Lysine is one of the nine essential amino acids your body required for proper functioning. Lysine’s particular strengths are in building protein in muscles, and in promoting the creation of disease-preventing antibodies, enzymes and hormones.
Because lysine is an essential amino acid, your body cannot produce it and must get it from outside sources, either diet or supplements. That is the “essential” part of essential amino acid. The “amino acid” part is that lysine is one of the components of protein in the body.
What Does Lysine Do for the Body?
Lysine builds muscle protein and collagen, and thus helps the body heal from injuries. The collagen produced by lysine does not just help produce healthy skin, but also helps repair torn muscle, ligaments, and tendons. Athletes who suffer damage from overtraining can benefit from lysine, as can anyone who suffers a muscle, tendon or ligament injury.
So that’s one answer to the question what is lysine. But what else does it do?
Lysine also helps the body absorb calcium and maintain proper calcium levels, which makes the bones stronger and can help prevent bone disease and injury, and may help prevent osteoporosis.
Lysine also supports the immune system and can help prevent illness and infection. And it can reduce the severity and length of herpes simplex cold sore infections, or prevent recurrences of the cold sores altogether.
What Are the Symptoms of Lysine Deficiency?
What is lysine deficiency and how does it present? One of the biggest and most obvious symptoms is constant fatigue and lethargy; those deficient in lysine usually feel sluggish and tired all the time. They may also lose weight, experience hair loss, and have little or no appetite.
While these symptoms can be representative of many disorders and illnesses, when there is no other obvious cause they may represent a lack of lysine in the system, particularly in individuals who do not eat properly to maintain their lysine levels.
Does Lysine Have any Side Effects?
When you ask what is lysine, one thing you want to know is, is lysine safe to supplement? And it is. The most common side effects are intestinal ones, including diarrhea and stomach cramps. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should also be careful with lysine because it can raise cholesterol and triglycerides. And of course you should always talk with your doctor before taking any supplement.
Where Can You Get Lysine in Your Diet?
What is lysine rich food? Lysine is found in protein-rich foods including meat, eggs, poultry, nuts, darily products and beans. A diet rich in protein should provide enough lysine for your body’s needs.
How to Take Lysine Supplements
What is lysine dosage for supplementation? If you choose to supplement with lysine, you should take 12mg for each kilogram of your body weight. This is the recommended supplement dosage of lysine to avoid an overdose which can cause discomfort.