L-lysine is an essential amino acid used in the body to build proteins, certain enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Since the body cannot manufacture L-lysine independently, it must be consumed through foods such as meat, poultry, dairy foods and wheat germ.
Lysine's Health Benefits
L-lysine has a reputation for helping to reduce, prevent or shorten the duration of herpes sore outbreaks by inhibiting the replication of the virus. There are two types of herpes: Simplex I which causes cold sores in the mouth, and Simplex II which causes genital sores. L-lysine works to inhibit the viruses associated with both strains of herpes. The herpes virus seems to need the amino acid L-arginine for replication, and L-lysine competes with L-arginine for absorption in the body, thereby reducing levels of outbreak-inducing L-arginine. For this reason, it is wise for those infected with the herpes virus to limit consumption of foods high in L-arginine, such as chocolate, peanuts, almonds, raisins, seeds, cereal grains and gelatin.
Use as directed.
Side-effects and Cautions:
Very high doses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Pregnant/nursing women, individuals with high cholesterol, or individuals with liver or kidney failure should consult a physician before using a lysine supplement.