Lysine is a building block for protein. It’s an essential amino acid because your body cannot make it, so you need to obtain it from food.
It’s important for normal growth and muscle turnover and used to form carnitine, a substance found in most cells of your body. What’s more, it helps transport fats across your cells to be burned for energy.
Protect Against and Treat Cold Sores by Blocking Arginine.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which can hide in your spine. In times of stress or if your immune system is weakened, HSV-1 can trigger the development of a cold sore (1Trusted Source). Lysine supplements may help prevent HSV-1 from replicating and reduce the duration of a cold sore. It’s thought that lysine blocks another amino acid called arginine, which HSV-1 needs in order to multiply.
Reduce Anxiety by Blocking Stress Response Receptors.
Lysine may also be able to help people with schizophrenia, a mental disorder that disrupts an individual’s perception of the outside world, often resulting in an inability to understand reality.
Improve Calcium Absorption and Retention.
Promote Wound Healing by Helping Create Collagen.
Here are other areas where lysine may benefit your health:
- Cancer: One animal study
found that lysine in combination with the antioxidant catechin reduced
cancer cell growth in mice (21Trusted Source).
- Eye Health: A study in rats
with diabetes found that lysine supplements could prevent the development
of cataract (22Trusted Source).
- Diabetes: One study showed
that lysine may help reduce blood sugar response in people
with diabetes. However, the connection is still unclear (23Trusted Source).
- Blood Pressure: A study in 50 adults with lysine
deficiency and high blood pressure found that lysine supplements
significantly reduced blood pressure (24Trusted Source)