L-lysine is one of the eight essential amino acids needed by the body for growth and tissue repair. As the body is not able to manufacture this amino acid, it needs to be obtained from the diet and from L-lysine supplements. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, one of the basic nutrients for cells and the production of antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. L-lysine is very significant in the synthesis of Vitamin B3 (niacin) and the deficiency of it can lead to a disease called pellagra. With Iron and Vitamin C, L-lysine helps in the production of collagen, an important component of the skin, nails, and hair.
Known dietary sources of L-lysine are red meat, poultry products, milk, cheese, peas, beans, fish, soybean, spinach, and nuts. However, the best source of L-lysine to achieve its specific health benefits is through L-lysine supplementation. There is no recommended daily intake of L-lysine but the average need of adults is approximately 30 mg per kilogram of body weight. In people who use L-lysine to prevent the recurrence of Herpes Simplex virus, daily L-lysine intake ranges from 500 mg to 3 grams. Apart from preventing Herpes simplex, L-lysine offers the body many critical health benefits.
Inadequate L-lysine intake can lead to fragile bones and defective bone growth, kidney stone formation, fatigue, anorexia, anemia, dizziness, nausea, agitation, reproductive disorders, and blood shot eyes.
L-Lysine Side Effects
When taken as prescribed,L-lysine supplements are regarded as safe and nontoxic and no side effects have been reported. In cases where there is excessive L-lysine intake of more than 10 grams daily, it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Those taking antibiotics should consult their physicians before taking L-lysine supplements. Large doses of L-lysine can increase the toxicity of certain antibiotics like streptomycin, neomycin, and gentamycin.