Last Modified on Oct 24, 2015
A naturally occurring amino acid, l-lysine is one of the only 20 amino acids that serves as a building block for proteins. L-lysine is a component of all of the proteins in the human body and is crucial for good health. With such an important role in the body, l-lysine is used as an effective treatment option and supplement.
What is L-Lysine?
An essential amino acid, l-lysine or lysine is necessary for human health. However, the body cannot manufacture the nutrient, so it is important to get enough of the nutrient via dietary intake or supplement.
Lysine serves as a building block for proteins in the body, making it important for growth and development. The nutrient also functions in the production of other nutrients including carnitine, which regulate the processing of fatty acids in the body.
While most individuals get an adequate amount of l-lysine in their diets, some individuals including athletes, burn patients and some vegans do not. An insufficient amount of lysine in the diet leads to fatigue, nausea, dizziness, decreased appetite, irritability, bloodshot eyes, delayed development, anemia, and reproductive issues.
Health Benefits of Lysine
As a building block of proteins in the body, lysine is a vital nutrient for supporting proper growth and development; however, the nutrient serves other purposes as well. Research suggests that the nutrient also helps the body absorb calcium. Likewise, it appears to play a part in the formation of collagen, which supports bone and tissue health, including skin, tendon, and cartilage development.
Being such a crucial nutrient, l-lysine can also help manage a variety of health conditions. The nutrient can be used to control cholesterol levels, prevent osteoporosis and other age-related bone density conditions, support growth and reduce anxiety and stress. The nutrient is also effective for preventing herpes, treating shingles, relieving pain due to inflammation and maintaining heart health.
As with any health supplement, care must be taken when using l-lysine as both too much and too little of the nutrient can cause health concerns. In any case, though, lysine is an effective health support that prevents and treats a wide range of conditions.
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[YEA] I thought lysine wasn't helping my cold sores when I took 500 mg and dicovered I should be taking more. I have been on 1 gram a day for years and any time I run out or forget, my cold sores fire up within 2 days.
Recently my cold sores popped out even on 1 g and gallstones and ulcer symtoms came back, I was stressed because I had just gotten out of the ICU with severe bleeding ulcer and loss of 5 pints of blood (extreme stress). I researched until I found a lysine link and found deficiency can cause anemia (a constant problem for me) and many other symptoms asociated with anemia. I googled lysine-gallstones and found conflicting info- but tried 5 g of lysine and the pain was releived and I slept without benedryl and all the usual herbs I have to take to sleep. And the cold sores are going away. I don't know what stimulated this last period of stress that I would need a higher dose of lysine, but I will have to be more mindful of getting enough protein.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I have taken L-Lysine for canker sores and it worked great. I havent had one since.
If taken for a while L-Lysine can have an effect on your liver, my mistake was that i kept experimenting and supplementing on it even though i did not need it. It is good but you should pay attention to your arginine levels (consume arginine foods or supplements), as an unsafe drop in those levels can damage your liver. As in my case after consuming about 2-3 grams a day for about 3-4 months resulted in a morning with pain in my liver and a feeling as if i had a cinder block under my ribcage(i had no idea there was such a thing such as liver pain and swelling). Stopped supplementing on it, and 2 days after my liver felt way better. My cholesterol levels were also unusually high during supplementation and they went back to normal after stopping, so people should keep these things in mind, i know its easy to miss these warnings since i missed them myself. The beautiful thing about the liver though is that it can repair itself, but that doesnt mean you shouldnt be careful. Milk Thistle can help repair your liver. And if i had to do this all over again i would take L-Arginine along with L-Lysine. It would be great if someone posted these warnings in the main description for awareness so they can learn from my mistake. Thanks
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Canberra, Act, Australia
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[YEA] For years, my teenage grandchildren suffered through excruciatingly painful episodes of canker sores. After trying & failing with many remedies suggested by their mother & others, including their M.D., they finally tried the old-fashioned home-remedy that their great-grandmother used! L-lysine, a simple, low cost cure. They now are tried & true users of L-lysine, and have almost become heroes with their college friends. The treatment is: Immediately upon the beginning of an out-break, take two 500 mg. tablets. Continue taking one 500 mg. tablet each day until 2 or 3 days past the day the canker sore appears to be healed. "L-lysine is an essential amino acid needed in our diet. It is found in animal protein, such as milk protein. It is recommended that young adults need approximately 23 mg of L-lysine per day per kilogram (10 mg per lb) of body weight. The proteins of cereals; wheat gluten, for example, do not provide enough L-lysine (Columbia University Press Encyclopedia)". Little do the young believe that Grandmother's could be so smart - until they try the "old- fashioned home remedies!
[YEA] My daughter and I would get canker scores often, until a friend told me about Lysine. We both take one a day, and if ever one starts to appear, then take 2 pills and the scores are gone. I told a great friend who had very dry lips and the lysine has worked for her as well! Love it! The pain is gone!
[YEA] My 5 year old daughter came down with a horribly serious case of canker sores. Her mouth had several sores on her tongue, cheek, and gums. Her gums were so red and swollen you could barely see her little teeth. Her breath was absolutely terrible and she barely ate or drank a thing. Finally after a week of different attempts, we had her gargle with 6 drops of tea tree oil in 4 oz. of water three times a day, gave her half an adult dose of L-lysine crushed up into water once a day, gave her a homeopathic every hour and had her drink 16 oz. of water with acidophilus/FOS throughout the day. We kept her completely off of sugar, dairy and meat and mostly she ate cottage cheese and plain yogurt. Within one day she was so much better and finally eating and within 3 days totally better!
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[YEA] My nurse practitioner recommended L-Lysine for my debilitating canker sores. They would last for weeks and were so bad that the pain extended to my neck and lymph nodes. I couldn't even eat without excruciating pain. When I feel a canker sore coming on, I take 1 gram 3 times a day and the sore is gone within a day or two.
[YEA] A supplement called LYSINE helps to heal mouth sores faster, just take a 1-gram capsule 2 or 3 times a day.
Colds and Cold Sores
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[YEA] I use L-Lysine for cold sores and to keep away the colds. For me it works.
Colds: I use the dose on the bottle for colds and gargle with cayenne powder water as often as I remember to. The worst I get is maybe one day of very mild symptoms. I tried many recipes from EC but for me this one knocks it out of the park.
Cold Sores: I use it a bit more often/day than for colds. As soon as I feel pain or itchiness around my mouth I take L-Lysine then dab the spot with DMSO. I keep dabbing DMSO every time I remember. That's it. It just fails to erupt if I catch it in time, if not, the combination of L-Lysine and DMSO stops it in its tracks, dries it and saves me days of unpleasantness. If I am away from my DMSO bottle, I use H2O2 instead. A fraction less effective for me but it stil works.
I have tried many other remedies for colds and their resulting sores but none have worked so consistently and so efficiently as these have. It takes a bit of time to search and to try them out until you find your own combo.
Thank you EC!
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[WARNING!] There is evidence that taking L-LYSINE supplements with a compromised liver and or kidneys is bad for you. This may help explain why some people are having mixed or less than desired effects with the BHT [ butylated hydroxytoluene ] treatment for hepatitis C. Many of these people are including supplements including L-LYSINE supplements as a part of their treatment. It seems this is a bad idea for the treatment of hepatitis. Link here about all this: http://www.livestrong.com/article/394394-l-lysine-contraindications/
And any person who is experiencing both kidney and liver failure should read that linked information and should be especially concerned.
So, if you have a compromised liver and or kidney do NOT take L-LYSINE as a supplement....Oscar
Replied by Denise
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I'm reading all this wonderful information about lysine but i'm wondering what type of supplement is everybody using? Are you using typical synthetic, chemical supplements or is it natural from an animal source? I was taking 500mg of L-lysine from CVS until I read about how bad synthetic supplements are for us. I'm curious if people are still getting good results with the synthetic? Thank you!
Replied by Plumhappy
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[YEA] I get a lot of fever blisters on my lips from stress and I don't know what. But I started taking L-Lysine and that alone helps keep them away for months at a time and the only reason I might get them might be cuz I forget to take it. When I do get them I use acetone and coconut oil. But L-Lysine works.
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Gander, Neewfoundland, Canada
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I can't find the supplements Lysine and Arginine where I live. The ones I have seen are bits of them in children's multivitamin syrups, which are either inadequate or has MSG added.
I don't know what else to do except making some chicken soup or the pig leg one. For Chinese people, it is kind of like a tradition to cook it if someone in the family feels weak and sick.
Will it have the same effect as taking 1000 mg of lysine to fight against some virus or germ? Will it also be the same as taking 500 mg of arginine to relax that stressful heart? Does the soup also have the same useful lysine and arginine?
Ted from Bangkok, anyone, have you ever drunk dong koi teng (chicken soup with dong koi herb) or ba kut teh (pig leg tea) to kill the fatigue caused by a germ or simply stress?
Replied by Frankiee
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[YEA] Found this website looking for flea remedies and found so much more! I too am always looking for remedies other than what are mainstream, just because it seems to me there has got to be more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak!
Read about Vitamin D deficincy in The Star Tribune by a doctor at the U of MN who discovered how many people suffer from a lack of it. Of course, I am a blue eyed blond who frys like a lobster in the sun and can't remember when the last time was that I went outdoors without sunscreen and and hat so I began taking a D supplement right away. I take 2000 IU of vitamin D daily. I have to say that I feel pretty darn good considering I have arthritis in all the major joints of my body.
I also have been using lysine to take care of my Herpes simplex outbreaks for years and would not be without it. I find that if I take 4-6 500 mg tablets at the first sign of the itch/tingle on my lip, and then 2 tablets every couple of hours after that, I can most times, stop it in its tracks and completely skip and signs of the break out. If I am nowhere near my supply of lysine and I get those symptoms, taking it at first opportunity causes the leisons to heal very rapidly. In any case, it works for me.
Am going to try the apple cider vinegar thing as well, for arthritis and for the flea problem. Weird that it will be for 2 such unrelated problems but If it works, who cares. It is certainly safe enough. Thanks for being here as a sounding board and gathering of natural remedies.
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[YEA] For over twenty years I've witnessed L-Lysine work for family, friends, neighbors,and recently nurses at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Nurses claim they noticed it stunted the growth overnight. People with reoccurring fever blisters, cold sores, canker sores and I suppose herpes, too, may find relief. My mother, Nancy, had suffered with fever blisters in her youth. She felt they were triggered by stressful events in her life. And by paying attention to her own symptoms (nerve twitch in the area the blister intends to form) and taking L-Lysine she could keep the blisters from ever forming. Within an hour of feeling the twitch she would take no less than 3000mgs - 6000mg of L-Lysine and repeat treatment every two to three hours until bedtime. Upon rising she continued her assault until she had no symptoms (twitching nerve/nerves) for one complete day. Then she felt she had enough amino acids to squash its desire to produce. If she felt it again or felt one in another area she would slam another 3000-6000mgs to squash its desire as well. Everyone will find their own dosage through trial and error, too little and you'll blister, but keep taking the L-Lysine and you'll heal faster. Almost enough, a bump may form but not into an open sore. Always check dates for freshness because it has to be potent.The day before her mothers funeral she had 5 blisters, until then I never saw more than one. We eventually traced it back to her using an old bottle that had little or no potency. Some may require less and some seem unable to be honestly consistent with their dosages to squash the sore. Pound it down, we say, 1000mg tablets, yes they are big. If you prefer there are also 500mg tablets, available. It works!
Replied by Bill
[YEA] L-LYSINE Keep it simple - you feel the tingle - take (2000 to 3000mg) lysine asap! then (2000 to 3000mg) 3 times a day -for 2 days. Day 3 reduce to (1000 to 1500mg) 3 times a day. Day 4 (1000 to 1500mg) 3 times a day. Day 5 & day 6 (500mg) 3 times a day. Your Done! You will either have no outbreak or only a day or two with a very small blister with this treatment.
Also note: L-LYSINE is an amnio acid not a vitamin. Do not take Lysine for long extended periods or mega dose as it can have negative effect on the liver. For mega dosing you may want to have your liver checked out. I have done this for 20 years with great success. I do not take it any other time.
Tip: For traveling back and forth - cold to warm climates, or after viruses, or muscle exersions all of which can trigger coldsores as well as large doses of stress. Take 1000mg for a week to help keep them away.