Lysine – Latest Research Included

Full Disclosure

L-lysine is an essential amino acid. It is necessary for the health of humans; however, the body cannot produce it. It is obtained via supplements or food sources. The amino acid lysine is the protein's building block. Lysine is crucial to ensure proper growth and is integral to creating carnitine. It is an essential nutrient that converts fatty acids into energy and lowers cholesterol. Lysine helps your body absorb calcium and plays a significant part in creating collagen, a substance vital to bones and connective tissues, including skin, tendons, and cartilage.

A majority of people consume enough lysine from their diet. But burn patients, athletes, and vegans who don't consume beans may require more. If you don't have enough lysine in your system, you might be suffering from:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • A loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slow growth
  • Anemia
  • Reproductive disorders

For vegans, legumes (beans, peas, peas, and lentils) are the best source of Lysine.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

A few study suggests taking Lysine regularly could help to prevent the emergence of sores caused by cold as well as Herpes genitalia. Some studies do not show any improvements. Lysine is an antiviral because it blocks the action of arginine, which aids in HSV replication. A study discovered that oral lysine was more effective in preventing the onset of an HSV outbreak than in reducing the severity and length of an outbreak. One study revealed that consuming lysine at the start of an epidemic didn't relieve symptoms. Most experts agree that lysine will not help heal sores in colds. But it can help reduce the occurrence of cold sores or ease symptoms.


Lysine assists the body in absorbing calcium and decreases how much calcium is lost through urine. Because calcium is essential to bone health, some researchers believe that lysine can aid in preventing bone loss that is associated with osteoporosis. Studies in the lab suggest that lysine when used in conjunction together with the amino acid the amino acid L-arginine (another amino acid) increases the number of bone-building cells active and increases the manufacturing of collagen. However, no study has investigated the extent to which lysine may help stop osteoporosis from occurring in humans.

Performance at the track

Athletes may use lysine in their protein supplements. Some studies suggest lysine helps muscle tissue recover after stress.

Dietary Sources

Lysine is a good source of protein and can be found in foods high in protein. Examples include:

  • Meat, primarily pork, red meat, and even poultry
  • Parmesan cheese, in particular
  • Certain species of fish, for example, cod and sardines
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans, in particular tofu soy protein isolated, and soybean flour defatted
  • Spirulina
  • Fenugreek seed

Brewer's yeast, beans, and other legumes and dairy products are also laced with Lysine.

Available Forms

Lysine is sold in capsules, liquids, creams, and tablets and is typically available as L-lysine.

How to Take It


Talk to your pediatrician about appropriate dosages. The dose can be adjusted according to your body's weight.


Dosing depends on different factors. Consult your physician to determine the appropriate dosage for you.


Due to the possibility of reactions and side effects with medication, it is advised to use dietary supplementation under supervision by an experienced medical professional.

Lysine may increase calcium absorption. Be cautious when taking large quantities of calcium when supplementing with Lysine.

Although lysine consumption in the diet is thought to be safe, high doses could cause gallstones. There are also reports of renal problems that include Fanconi disorder and failure of the kidney.

Speak with your doctor before using supplemental lysine if you have liver or kidney disease or are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Possible Interactions

If any currently treat you with the following drugs or supplements, do not take lysine supplements without first speaking with your doctor.

Arginatine: Lysine and arginine have common pathways within the body. A high level of arginine can reduce the levels of lysine in the body.

Aminoglycoside antibiotics (gentamicin, neomycin, streptomycin, etc. ): > Use in conjunction with lysine could raise the chance of renal toxicities.

Supporting Research

Beauman JG. Genital herpes: A review. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Oct 15;72(8):1527-34. Review.

Breau RH, Kokolo MB, Punjani N, et al. Effects of Lysine and analogs on pelvic surgery: A thorough literature review and meta-analysis. Transfus Med Rev. 2014;28(3):145-55.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Rockville, MD: US Dept of Health and Human Services and US Dept of Agriculture; 2005.

Fini M Torricelli P. Giavaresi G, Carpi A, Nicolini A, Giardino R. Effect on L-lysine- and L-arginine-based osteoblasts of the normal and osteopenic animals. Biomed Pharmacother. 2001;55(4):213-220.

Gaby AR. Natural cures to treat Herpes simplex. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Jun;11(2):93-101. Review.

Krymchantowski AV, Barbosa JS, Cheim C, Alves LA. Oral lysine clonixinate is used to treat acute migraines in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2001;59(1):46-49.

Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.

Rao M, Chinnasamy N, Hong JA, et al. Hetone lysine methylation inhibition boosts the expression of the cancer-testis antigen in cancerous lung cells and has implications for the use of adoptive immunotherapy for cancer. Cancer Res. 2011;71(12):4129204.

Singh B. Udani J Vinjamury SP and others. Safety and efficacy of zinc, L-lysine and herbal-based products on treating the facial and circumoral herpes. Altern Med Rev. 2005;10(2):123-7.

Tfelf-Hansen, P. The efficacy of combined oral lysine and metoclopramide for the treatment of migraine attacks. A comparison with oral sumatriptan and placebo. Funct Neurol. 2000;15(Suppl 3):196-201.

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