Q. Can the body naturally produce lysine?
A. No. Our bodies are not able to produce lysine which is why we need to consume foods that contain this essential amino acid. Why is lysine important? It is important because as an amino acid, lysine is needed for the making of our body’s protein. Not only that, lysine also helps our bodies absorb calcium, an element crucial to keeping our skeletal structure intact and functional.
Q. Aside from protein synthesis and calcium absorption, what else does lysine do?
A. Lysine also helps in the synthesis of yet another important substance—carnitine. Carnitine is the nutrient that converts the body’s fats into energy and helps lower cholesterol. Lysine is also an essential substance that ensures proper physical growth.
Q. What happens if we lack lysine?
A. Majority of individuals now, except for athletes and those who do not eat beans, get sufficient lysine in their diet. However, those who lack lysine in their bodies find themselves constantly nauseous or dizzy, and research shows that they are most prone to fatigue, anemia, agitation, slow growth, loss of appetite, bloodshot eyes, and reproductive disorders.
Q. What foods are rich in lysine?
A. Foods that are rich in protein are automatically rich in lysine. The list for lysine-rich foods will therefore include cheese, red meat, pork, poultry, cod, sardines, nuts, eggs, tofu, spirulina, and dairy products. For vegans, great sources of lysine include legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils.
Q. Is lysine a cure for the Herpes Simplex Virus?
A. Several studies conducted on this matter show that regular consumption of lysine helps prevent the outbreak of genital herpes and cold sores. How? Lysine blocks arginine from replicating the herpes simplex virus, making lysine more effective for prevention rather than for cure.
Q. How does lysine help prevent osteoporosis?
A. As lysine promotes calcium absorption in the body, lysine may help reduce one’s risk for experiencing bone loss or osteoporosis. In fact, bone-building cells are most active when lysine works along with another amino acid, L-arginine. Collagen production also increases with high levels of lysine and L-arginine in the body.
Q. What precautions should be taken when considering this supplement?
A. Individuals who suffer from renal or liver diseases should take the advice of their healthcare professionals before taking lysine supplementation as a high level of lysine in the body may lead to the formation of gallstones. Pregnant and nursing mothers should likewise seek professional medical advice before deciding to take this supplement.