What is the importance of lysine?   

What is the importance of lysine?  

There are many health supplements sold in the market that are based on many health claims. These health benefits are said to have originated either from traditional remedies of the people in the past or based the modern science novel substances/ findings. Supplements are meant to be taken to help improve a person’s wellbeing physically and mentally. Famous supplements such as multivitamin may seem familiar to many but there is also another supplement that may seem new to most as it is not popularised much, such as the lysine chewable tablets.

Lysine is an essential amino acid that is needed by the body to make up protein that is to be used in many functions of the body and for cell growth. An essential amino acid is an amino acid that is unable to be produced by the human body and humans rely on consumption of food containing lysine to get the needed lysine. Lysine is usually found in food such as eggs, fish, shellfish, meat, soybean products like tempeh and tofu, milk and fruits such as cranberry, banana and berries.

Why does lysine matter to the human body? One of the main importance of lysine is it helps build strong bones and teeth as this type of amino acid helps in absorption of calcium in the body to build these two structures. Aside from helping to build strong bones and teeth, it also aids with the supporting structures such as cartilage and muscles. Lysine is responsible for a person’s level of energy and sport performance. It helps to improve energy expenditure by converting fatty acids to energy through production of carnitine. Lysine also plays a role in producing hormones, enzymes and antibodies as it serves as building blocks. Evidence shows that lack of lysine may cause a person to be susceptible in catching diseases, growth problems and even reproductive issues. Lysine is found to be responsible in lowering stress levels in a person’s body, this in turn can make a person become less easily irritable, less likely to become fatigued and mentally fit.

Lysine supplements may be usually seen to be marketed for those with herpes or cold sores as it helps to ease the symptoms and to prevent future outbreak episodes. Truthfully, anyone can take lysine supplements to help improve their wellbeing and to get all the benefits as mentioned before. Lysine supplements should be seriously considered by those who are picky eaters, those unable to practise healthy eating habits or a well-balanced meal or those who are vegan or vegetarian as lysine content is higher in meat and dairy products.

Research shows 3000 mg of lysine via oral for a period of one year is safe. A healthy person is allowed to consume about 3 grams of lysine per day without any potential of side effects. Recommended dosage of lysine is 500 mg, 2 to 3 times daily. Theoretically, accurate dosage of lysine is based on an individual’s height and weight but the recommended dosage has been studied to be safe in the general population. Lysine supplement should not be taken in excess as side effects may follow. Side effects such as stomach aches, nausea, abdominal cramp and diarrhoea are common. High doses of lysine supplementation in the long run may result in serious problems such as formation of gallstone and kidney failure. It is best to take supplements as advised by healthcare professionals or as directed by the product labels to avoid such adverse events. Those on medication such as on antibiotic course or drugs containing calcium, may need to get further explanation from their healthcare provider before taking lysine supplement as it may cause drug interaction that is unfeasible. 

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