Lysine helps with cold sores and strengthens connective tissue
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid found mainly in animal products. L-Lysine is an essential building block for the production of collagen, and thus for the formation of connective tissue, cartilage, skin, hair, teeth, bones, tendons, collagen and muscle. Lysine is also involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and the antibodies which fight certain viral infections.
Lysine supports intestinal calcium reabsorption and promotes calcium retention in the bones. Lysine is therefore particularly important for women in the menopause, and is increasingly also recommended for people with a risk of osteoporosis.
The amino acid lysine also has an anti-depressive effect, and considerably reduces the susceptibility to stress. Lysine is also recommended for the prevention and treatment of cold sores (herpes). It can be taken both to treat acute outbreaks of herpes and to reduce the frequency of recurrent infections.
In combination with vitamin C, lysine is regarded to be an effective remedy for hardening of the arteries, as confirmed by various studies by the researchers Dr Matthias Rath and Dr Aleksandra Niedzwiecki in 1996.
What are the benefits of L-lysine?
- recommended for cold sores(herpes)
- a building block for strong connective tissue
- helps wounds to heal
- assists the absorption of calcium and its retention in bones
- promotes strong nails and shiny hair
- important for the formation of new muscle tissue
- protects the heart and circulation
- precursor for the body's synthesis of L-carnitine
- strengthens the immune system
- Lysine combats herpes
It is scientifically proven that L-lysine hinders the growth of the herpes virus, if taken in sufficient quantities. Studies have shown that the intake of lysine can reduce the frequency and intensity of outbreaks of genital and oral herpes.
In a study by the Health Sciences department of the University of Southern California, 40 percent of the subjects responded successfully to treatment with lysine after three days, and 87 percent after six days.
The results would probably have been even better if lysine had been used in combination with other nutrients that combat herpes, such as vitamin C, bioflavonoids and zinc.
All these nutrients are mutually supportive and help to suppress outbreaks and strengthen the skin, which according to clinical studies shortens the period of infection and reduces the frequency of outbreaks.
How does lysine combat herpes?
There are two types of amino acid that have a significant effect on herpes(the virus that causes both cold sores and genital herpes), and those are lysine and arginine.
While arginine provokes outbreaks and is needed by the herpes simplex virus to reproduce and create the symptoms, lysine helps reduce the number of outbreaks and accelerates the healing process.
The two amino acids compete against each other. If arginine gets the upper hand, the likelihood of a herpes outbreak increases.
Studies on tissue cultures show that lysine acts by suppressing the metabolism of arginine. The herpes virus needs arginine to reproduce and become active.
People who are prone to cold sores should not consume large quantities of nuts, chocolate, wheat(wholemeal or white), oats or gelatin, which are all rich in arginine, and should avoid food supplements containing L-arginine.
The recommended dosage of lysine to prevent an outbreak of herpes is approximately 1200 to 1500 mg. This is the amount that was used to influence the herpes virus in studies. The dosage may be increased to between 1875 mg and 2500 mg from the time a herpes outbreak is apparent until it has disappeared.
An intake of over 3 grams per day is not recommended while the symptoms of herpes are present, because the quantity suggested above should be sufficient to tip the lysine-arginine balance and stop the herpes virus being active.
L-lysine protects the cardiovascular system
If damage occurs to the vascular wall due to vitamin deficiency, the body tries to repair it by depositing lipoprotein(a), which is formed in the liver, on the vascular wall.
This creates arteriosclerotic plaque and the diameter of the blood vessels gets smaller and smaller. Lysine and proline gather on the lipoprotein(a), which makes it less sticky and prevents it from accumulating further.
Lysine and proline can also dissolve lipoprotein molecules which have already gathered on the artery wall so they can be broken down by the liver. Existing arteriosclerotic deposits can thus be counteracted with L-lysine.
The formation of this plaque is associated with a low vitamin C levels. An adequate intake of vitamin C, lysine and proline protects the cardiovascular system and is an important factor in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Lysine also blocks collagen-digesting enzymes and thus the enzymatic dissolution of collagen (collagenosis), thereby inhibiting the spread of arteriosclerotic, inflammatory and carcinogenic processes, which all depend upon this internal mechanism for the dissolution of bodily tissues.
Lysine is essential for strong connective tissue
Together with vitamin C, the amino acids lysine and proline are important building blocks for the formation of collagen, and thus strong connective tissue. While proline can be manufactured by the body itself, lysine has to be supplied in food. These days, deficiencies of both vitamin C and lysine are widespread.
Lysine promotes a healthy immune system
Lysine is important for the maintenance of the immune system and impaired function is seen to be linked to lysine deficiency. An additional intake of L-lysine can strengthen the immune system, especially for people who get too little lysine from their food and suffer from a lysine deficiency.
Animal products such as fish, meat, cheese and eggs have particularly high levels of lysine. Grains contain only small amounts of L-lysine, which is why vegans and vegetarians tend to suffer from a lysine deficiency.