What Is L-Lysine Good For? 10 Health Benefits

Medically Reviewed on 6/14/2022
what is L-lysine good for
L-lysine is an essential amino acid essential for tissue growth and repair. Learn about 10 health benefits of lysine and how to obtain it from food

L-lysine is an essential amino acid essential for tissue growth and repair. Since your body cannot produce lysine on its own, it needs to be obtained through diet or supplements.

10 health benefits of lysine

Here are the 10 health benefits of lysine.

  1. Vital for proper growth: Lysine produces carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy. Carnitine carries long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria to produce energy and transports the generated toxins outside the cells.
  2. Promotes wound healing: Lysine speeds up wound healing and is required for collagen formation—a protein that gives structure to the skin and bones.
  3. Prevents herpes simplex virus (HSV): Lysine may help prevent eruptions of cold sores and herpes affecting the genital area. It has antiviral activity and prevents HSV replication.
  4. Prevents osteoporosis: Because lysine helps the body absorb calcium, the amount of calcium lost in urine is minimized. Absorption of calcium may help prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
  5. Boosts athletic performance: Lysine, when taken as a protein supplement, may help athletes’ muscles recover from stress.
  6. Increases muscle mass: A study has shown that lysine may help with muscle loss and enhance strength in older women.
  7. Relieves stress: Research suggests that consuming wheat with added lysine reduces stress and anxiety. Lysine may help reduce cortisol levels in women, and in combination with medications, may be beneficial in controlling symptoms of schizophrenia.
  8. Pain management: Lysine serves as an anti-inflammatory agent through inhibition of a compound called cyclooxygenase.
  9. Diabetes management: Studies have shown that lysine may be beneficial in reducing blood sugar, although there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove this claim.
  10. Reduces blood pressure: A study that included 50 adults with lysine deficiency and high blood pressure concluded that lysine supplements reduced blood pressure.

What happens if you don’t get enough lysine?

Most people get sufficient lysine through their diet. However, athletes and people on restricted diets may require more lysine. You may experience the following symptoms if your body doesn’t have enough lysine:

What are the best sources of lysine?

Good sources of lysine are usually foods rich in protein, which include:

  1. Certain fish, such as cod and sardines
  2. Eggs
  3. Soybeans, particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour
  4. Spirulina
  5. Fenugreek seed
  6. Meat, specifically red meat, pork, and poultry
  7. Cheese, particularly parmesan
  8. Brewer’s yeast
  9. Beans and other legumes
  10. Dairy products


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Medically Reviewed on 6/14/2022