L-lysine is an essential amino acid that has to be provided throughthe food we eat, since it can’t be produced by the body. Together with 19 otheramino acids lysine is building all the proteins in our body. Some amino acidsare synthesized in the body and they are called non-essential and those which haveto be taken by the food are called essential amino acids.
Lysine is important for the overall growth of our body,building of new muscles and recovery from the injuries of the body. It helps inproduction of carnitine, lowering cholesterol in the blood and converting fattyacids to the energy fuel for the body. Lysine gets converted into allysine inthe body, which is important for production of both collagen and elastin. Collagen,on the other hand is necessary for healthy bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin.
Lysine is used to treat cold sores and herpes simplexinfections. Patients suffering from herpes are advised to use supplements thatcontain at least 1250mg of lysine, and also some vitamin C and zinc.
Athletes need more lysine during the strenuous exercise. Afteran intensive physical stress, the body requires more lysine and uses allavailable reserves. If the exercise was extremely intensive, there might be alack of lysine, causing muscle damage. Therefore, many sport doctors recommendtaking lysine supplements to avoid these consequences.
Lack of lysine in the diet might cause many medicalproblems. There may be a problem with the loss of hair or appetite, anemia, growthdifficulties, bloodshot eyes, kidney stones and reproductive problems. Peoplesuffering from lysine deficiency could also experience anxiety, dizziness,tiredness, lethargy and concentration problems.
Certain foods are great sources of lysine, and many people preferusing them instead of the lysine supplements. Animal food, especially beef andpork are rich in lysine. Fish, shellfish, turkey, chicken and eggs are alsowell known to contain plenty of lysine. If you are cheese lover, you don’t haveto worry, because you probably eat plenty of this amino acid. Actually, milk,yogurt and all other dairy products contain lysine, but cheeses have higheramounts of it. You can eat any of the cheeses: Edam, Gouda, gruyere, parmesan,etc. Seaweed and parsley, celery, pumpkins, cauliflower, peas and grains aregreat sources of lysine food suitable for vegetarians. There is plenty of thisamino acid in different nuts (almonds, Brazil and cashew nuts) and also in somefruits, such as apples, bananas, apricots and pears.