This Article is About
herpes simplex virus
l arginine
prevention of osteoporosis
building blocks of protein
collagen production
genital herpes
lower cholesterol
fatty acids
What Is L - Lysine?
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What is L  -  lysine?

We hear so much in the media and the world around us about our diets and how much they are lacking in valuable nutrients. It is drilled into our heads that the foods we eat are insufficient for maintaining a healthy body, but we often are not told what is lacking...specifically. For the purpose of this article I am going to just focus on L-lysine, often just referred to simply as lysine. I'll answer exactly what is L-lysine and what does it do?

Lysine is an essential amino acid referred to as one of the "building blocks of protein." Unfortunately, the body does not manufacture it, so we have to get it either from the foods we eat or through supplements. It converts fatty acids into energy and has also been attributed to helping lower cholesterol. L-lysine also has a role in the absorption of calcium and production of collagen.

One of the most widely mentioned uses for lysine is to prevent HSV (herpes simplex virus) outbreaks such as cold sores, genital herpes, and shingles. The reason this works is because another amino acid, L-arginine, is needed in order for the virus to replicate, but L-lysine inhibits the production of L-arginine. Thus, the virus is incapacitated because it can not replicate. It should be noted the amino acid is more effective as a preventative measure. However, there is some disagreement as to whether it can/will shorten the duration of any of the above listed outbreaks.

Low levels of lysine have also been attributed to a higher incidence of anxiety and stress. Because of its relationship with calcium and collagen production, as previously mentioned, it has also been considered useful in the prevention of osteoporosis. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may be useful in mild to moderate pain management.

L-lysine is available through many dietary sources such as meat (especially red meat), cheeses, nuts, eggs, soybeans, brewer’s yeast, and beans. It is also available to take orally as a supplement and to apply topically as cream. The cream is generally used to treat cold sores.

Amino acids are a critical, but often neglected facet of health. When people do not get enough of them, or in the proper amounts, they begin to notice health issues. Fortunately, it is an easy issue to remedy. If your diet does not include a substantial amount of L-lysine, you can easily purchase a supplement online or at your local health food store.


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