What Is L-Lysine?
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are molecules that combine to form protein. There are 20 amino acids overall, 11 of which are considered non-essential as they can be produced by the body. The other nine are considered essential because they must be obtained from the diet. L-lysine is an essential amino acid involved in many body processes and has many health benefits when taken as a supplement as well. In this article, we’ll discuss what L-lysine is good for and how you can get L-lysine in your diet.
What Is L-Lysine?
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. This means it is necessary for our health but cannot be produced by the body. It must therefore be obtained through diet. L-lysine is important for tissue growth and repair and is one of the primary nutrients needed for the body to produce collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body. L-lysine also has significant antiviral effects.
What Are the Benefits of L-Lysine?
There are many L-lysine benefits. As mentioned, L-lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it is necessary for the body to function properly. In particular, L-lysine plays a key role in tissue growth and repair and in producing carnitine, a nutrient that converts fatty acids into energy and helps to lower cholesterol. Below, we’ll discuss the top L-lysine benefits.
1. L-Lysine Supports Collagen Production
One of the major roles that L-lysine plays in the body is acting as a precursor for collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It makes up many body tissues like bone, cartilage, muscle, and skin. In order to produce collagen, the body needs a sufficient amount of L-lysine and L-proline, as well as sufficient amounts of vitamin C and B vitamins that act as catalysts for collagen synthesis.
Many people today are aware of the benefits of collagen for skin health. Unfortunately, however, most people don’t realize that animal collagen is mostly ineffective, as it is a very large molecule that is difficult for the body to process and actually utilize. It is much more effective to give your body the nutrients that it needs so it can produce its own collagen. That is why we created our Complete Collagen Builder Protocol to help you maximize your collagen production for better skin and soft tissue health.†
When people talk about L-lysine benefits for skin, it is because of L-lysine’s role in producing collagen, which has many benefits for skin health. Often people notice significant differences with l-lysine benefits for skin before and after consuming more of it. Because of this, you want to make sure you are getting enough L-lysine in your diet, either from food or from high-quality L-lysine supplements.
2. L-Lysine Supports Muscle Growth
Because L-lysine is an essential amino acid involved in tissue growth, it also supports muscle growth and development. Protein is the primary building block of muscle in the body. L-lysine is a building block of protein. Consuming more foods or supplements with L-lysine can help both with muscle growth as well as muscle repair. This also makes it beneficial for recovery from intense workouts, preventing soreness and supporting muscle healing.
3. L-Lysine May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Studies on L-lysine show that it may have the potential to reduce stress and anxiety by blocking the receptors involved in the stress response.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine states that “dietary supplementation with an essential amino acid L-lysine has been shown to reduce chronic anxiety in humans with low dietary intake of L-lysine.” The study suggests that amino acid deficiency can be a potential factor in anxiety, and by supplying the body with sufficient amino acids, one can thereby alleviate anxiety symptoms.
The brain relies on amino acids to send a signal between neurotransmitters. It is important to make sure that you get enough amino acids in your diet so your body can function at its best.
4. L-Lysine Supports Brain Health
Some research suggests that L-lysine also has benefits for brain health. The main L-lysine benefits for brain health include supporting neurotransmitter production and preventing deficiencies. As mentioned above, the brain relies on amino acids to produce hormones and neurotransmitters. A deficiency in essential amino acids can lead to weakened cognitive health and may also make one more prone to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Consuming sufficient amino acids in the diet can prevent this from occurring and can support overall brain health and function.
5. L-Lysine May Aid In Weight Loss
L-lysine may also help with weight loss. L-lysine helps create the nutrient carnosine, which plays a role in converting fatty acids into energy, aiding in weight loss. As energy levels increase, l-lysine can support endurance and athletic performance, which may further support calorie burning and aid in weight loss. When taking L-lysine for weight loss, aim to keep overall L-lysine consumption from supplements under 3000 mg. Exactly how much to supplement with will depend upon your body weight.
How Much L-Lysine Do You Need Each Day?
The recommended L-lysine dosage per day is 500mg 2-3 times daily when taken as an oral supplement. However, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of lysine is 38 mg/kg of body weight per day for adults over 19 years old. So, someone weighing 70 kilograms (about 155 pounds) needs 2660 mg per day.
Does L-Lysine Have Any Side Effects?
L-lysine is an essential nutrient and is necessary for health. It is very safe to consume when in its natural food form and is also considered to be very safe when taken as a supplement in doses up to 3000 mg daily. Larger doses, however, may cause potential side effects. Some of the possible L-lysine side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Kidney inflammation (in high doses)
- Kidney failure (in high doses)
- Increased calcium absorption
It is important to stick to the recommended dosages when taking L-lysine as a dietary supplement. The quality of supplements also makes a tremendous difference. If you are considering supplementing with L-lysine, make sure that it is coming from a quality source.
What Are Food Sources of L-Lysine?
Some of the best L-lysine food sources include:
- Lean beef
- Parmesan cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Cottage cheese
L-lysine is highest in animal foods, so people on a vegan diet are at greater risk of not meeting their daily L-lysine needs. For this reason, it is often recommended for people on a vegan diet to supplement with L-lysine.
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it is necessary for human health and must be obtained through diet. L-lysine plays important roles in muscle growth and repair, collagen production, immune system health, fat burning, and metabolism, as well as in brain function and mental health. Deficiencies in this important nutrient can result in a range of health issues.
L-lysine can be obtained through many foods, particularly animal foods. Those on a vegan or vegetarian diet may have more difficulty meeting their daily L-lysine needs and may want to consider supplementing with L-lysine.
However you meet your L-lysine needs, it is important to make sure you are getting enough of this nutrient in your diet, as it is vital for your health and well-being.