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    As 1 of 9 essential amino acids, l-lysine is a building block of protein commonly found in protein-rich foods like meats, eggs, beans, and cheese.

    L-Lysine deficiencies may result in psychological and physiological problems.

    Also, L-lysine is used for several medicinal purposes, and due to its chemical nature, several athletes supplement it to improve athletic performance parameters.

    L-lysine is being studied for its effects on psychological health. One study indicates diets low in lysine may lead to higher stress and anxiety levels.

    A 3-month, double-blind study analyzed lysine’s effects on chronic anxiety in test subjects. Researchers indicate lysine supplementation reduced chronic anxiety, which was measured by the train anxiety inventory in males.[1]

    When administered in combination with another amino acid l-arginine, l-lysine resulted in increased growth hormone secretion. Researchers indicate these results were reproducible; however, no human growth hormone response was noticed when each amino acid was administered alone.[2]

    L-lysine aids in calcium absorption leading researchers to believe it combats bone loss resulting from osteoporosis. Also, L-arginine and L-lysine combined increased activity of bone-forming cells.[3]

    Some studies reveal l-lysine may ameliorate flare-ups from herpes. Researchers found l-lysine administered every day over a 6-month period resulted in an average 2.4 less flare-ups than the placebo group.[4]

    Medical authorities indicate l-lysine is safe for use up to 1 year. It may cause diarrhea and stomach pain, however.[5]

    Also, there is 1 report linking lysine supplements with kidney disease.[5]

    During the study analyzing l-lysine’s effects on anxiety and stress, a dose of 4.2 g per kg of wheat flour was used.[1]

    A 1,200 mg l-lysine and 1,200 mg l-arginine combination was used during the human growth hormone study.[2]

    An online medical and academic authority indicates 12 mg/kg is a recommended daily amount for preventing deficiencies.[3]

    For combatting cold sores (herpes simplex labialis), medical authorities have used a 1,000 mg daily dose for 12 months and a 1,000 mg dose taken 3 times a day for 6 months.[5]

    • [1] Miro Smriga, et al. “Lysine fortification reduces anxiety and lessens stress in family members in economically weak communities in Northwest Syria.” PNAS Vol. 101 no. 22.
    • [2] Isidori A, Lo Monaco A, Cappa M. “A study of growth hormone release in man after oral administration of amino acids.” Curr Med Res Opin. 1981;7(7):475-81.
    • [3] “Lysine.” University of Maryland Medical Center.
    • [4] Griffith RS, Walsh DE, Myrmel KH, et al. Success of L-lysine therapy in frequently recurrent herpes simplex infection. Treatment and prophylaxis.Dermatologica . 1987;175:183-190.
    • [5] “Lysine.” WebMD.

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