What is L-Lysine?

Posted by Shopsomalife on 1/14/2015 to Vitamins and Supplements

Although more than 300 different amino acids exist in nature, only 20 serve as building blocks for proteins, and lysine is one of them. Most of these amino acids occur as stereoisomers, which means there are two forms of each – the D form and the L form – that are mirror images of each other. Only the L form of amino acids becomes incorporated into protein and gets used by your body. In addition to contributing to protein structure, some L-amino acids, such as lysine, might benefit your health when taken as a dietary supplement.  Food-based sources of lysine include poultry, red meat, Parmesan cheese, eggs, sardines, cod and soy. Nuts, beans and milk products also provide this amino acid in a natural form.  A number of our products at Shop Soma Life contain healthy amounts of L-Lysine.

L-lysine Benefits - You may experience many health benefits when you have an adequate intake of l-lysine in your diet such as:

Cholesterol Management. In the liver, l-lysine converts to carnitine which helps your body burn fat. Because of this fat-burning ability, studies have shown that lysine in the diet may result in decreased levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol.

Bone Health. Everyone knows that calcium is critical for strong bones. L-lysine helps the body to absorb the calcium and decreases the excretion of calcium. Some studies also show that l-lysine may increase the activity of bone and collagen building cells. Decreasing the loss of calcium and increasing bone-building activity may slow the bone loss that happens with age.  The lysine you consume can help your gastrointestinal tract absorb calcium and reduce how much of this mineral is excreted into your urine. Although it’s unclear whether this effect can help reduce the incidence of osteoporosis, supplementing with both lysine and arginine, another protein-building amino acid, stimulates the cells responsible for building new bone tissue. The combination of amino acids can also increase the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein important in maintaining the health of connective tissue, including your cartilage, tendons and skin

Herpes Prevention. L-lysine may act as an antiviral by blocking the production of the Herpes Simplex Virus. Studies suggest that following a diet rich in lysine (or taking a lysine supplement), while not curing the virus, may prevent outbreaks of genital herpes and cold sores associated with the herpes virus. L-lysine may also help herpes sores heal faster.

Proper Body Growth. L-lysine is one of the primary components of proteins. Therefore, it is critical for proper body growth particularly in children. Because it helps your body absorb calcium, l-lysine is also critical for growing bones and other tissues. Low levels of lysine may lead to failure to grow due to a protein deficiency.

Anxiety and Stress Reduction. Because your body can’t manufacture lysine, you must include it in the foods you eat. In populations in which wheat is the predominant food staple, lysine deficiency can occur, as only low levels of this amino acid are available in the grain. Low dietary lysine might not only lead to overall protein deficiency symptoms, such as a compromised immune system and failure to grow, but also to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. In the April 2004 issue of the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” researchers report that supplementing cereal-based diets with lysine reduced chronic anxiety and stress in a low-income population that consumed wheat as a primary diet component. Lysine supplementation might therefore improve your mental well-being if this amino acid is lacking in your diet

Shingles Relief. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. With shingles, the adult will experience a painful rash usually located on one side of the body along one of the major spinal nerves. While not a cure for shingles, l-lysine may help decrease the duration or intensity of the disease.

Pain Relief: Studies are being conducted to determine if l-lysine acts as an anti-inflammatory. If it does, you may be able to get pain relief from an adequate intake of this amino acid.

Heart Health. Finally, l-lysine may be effective in decreasing some of the symptoms associated with angina. While the mechanism of action is not known, lysine in conjunction with vitamin C seems to have some effect.