Amino acid lysine is an essential amino acid which is vital to human health but cannot be synthesized by the human body. This is the reason why amino acid lysine must be obtained from daily food diet. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and proteins are greatly needed by the body. Amino acid lysine plays an important role in the production of a nutrient that is responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helps lower cholesterol, carnitine nutrient.
Amino acid lysine also shows to help the body in absorbing and conserving calcium. It also plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, an important substance for the bones and connective tissues that includes the skin, cartilage and tendon.
Insufficient lysine in the diet may cause health problems such as kidney stones that may develop other health problems including loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, agitation, slow growth, anemia, reproductive disorders, and bloodshot eyes. However, it is very rare to get insufficient amounts of lysine through the daily diet. Lysine deficiency would normally only apply to vegetarians and certain athletes who are in frequent vigorous exercise. Vegetarians would get the best source of lysine in legumes such as peas, lentils, and beans.
In foods such as pastries, cookies, doughnuts, and cereals, the browning reaction involves lysine. In this process of lysine and sugar being combined makes it in a way difficult for the body to absorb lysine, resulting to low lysine intake in cereals and baked goods diet. Good food sources of lysine are those foods rich in protein which includes meat, cheese, nuts, eggs, certain fish, soybeans, fenugreek seed, and spirulina.
Amino acid lysine can be used in the treatment of genital and mouth lesions caused by herpes simplex virus as well as shingles caused by herpes zoster viruses. Lysine supplements taken can speed up recovery time and reduce the possibility of repeated breakouts of the herpes infection. Amino acid lysine also improves the absorption of calcium from the digestive tract and avoids loss of calcium in the urine, which some researchers have speculated that bone loss associated with osteoporosis can be prevented through the help of lysine. In studies where lysine has been combined with arginine showed that it increases the activity of bone-building cells and improves production of collagen.
Some forms of lysine or lysine bound to anti-inflammatory medications may help ease pain following an episiotomy, a medical procedure performed during labor that is a procedure of cutting the vaginal area to enlarge the vaginal opening and facilitate delivery. Lysine of these forms may also relieve painful periods and migraine headaches.
Most people need about 1 gram of lysine per day. For athletes and people recovering from major injuries such as burns may be required a greater amount.