Lysine is an essential amino acid that has been used for treating cold sores and herpes — as well as for muscle recovery — for years.
It turns out today the use of L-lysine isn’t limited to just these cases. This chemical may be beneficial for you in ways you wouldn’t even think of. Keep reading to find out how you can use lysine and learn about 5 best lysine supplements available on the market today.
- 1 Reviews of 5 Best Lysine Supplements
- 2 Lysine Benefits for Health: From Well-Known Uses to Promising Options
- 3 Safety, Side Effects, and Dosage of Lysine for Different Cases
- 4 Wrapping Up
Reviews of 5 Best Lysine Supplements
Quantum Health Super Lysine Caps
The Quantum Health supplement formula combines high-quality lysine with adaptogenic herbs, such as garlic and echinacea. This combination results in one of the best lysine supplements aimed at treating cold sores and supporting your immune system.
Besides that, each serving of Quantum Health packs 100 mg of vitamin C to provide protection from oxidative stress and to contribute to collagen production, which altogether improves your skin.
One serving of this product is equal to 3 capsules per day, and each capsule contains 500 mg of lysine. You may vary the dosage if you feel that 1,500 mg is too much for you. You can choose between 90 and 180 count packages, and depending on your needs, it may last you from 1 to 3 months.
Amazing Nutrition L-Lysine Caps
Amazing Nutrition offers you 1,000 mg of pure lysine in one serving without any mixtures and additives, which is considered an optimal dose for treating skin conditions, viral infections, and supporting respiratory health.
Another great option of this product is that it’s both vegan and gluten-free. Besides, Amazing Nutrition uses only L-Lysine HCL, which is claimed to be the most natural form to be absorbed by your body. This means you can expect higher potency and a more pronounced effect.
One package of this lysine supplement counts 180 caps and will last you six months if you consume it according to the instructions. However, if you’re buying on Amazon, you can also choose 2-pack and 3-pack options to share the purchase with your friends and save a few bucks.
NOW L-Lysine Caps
NOW is a well-known and popular supplement brand, so it can offer you one of the best lysine supplements for the money. One jar packs as many as 250 capsules with 500 mg of lysine in each, which allows for flexible dosing based on your needs.
NOW states that the primary use of their lysine is for supporting immunity and boosting collagen synthesis, which is great for people who want to improve some skin aging issues and decrease the chances of catching a cold.
The only downside of this supplement is that although it’s hypoallergenic and certified, the manufacturer uses gelatin to make capsules. Thus, if you’re vegan, this product isn’t suitable for you.
Bulk Supplements L-Lysine Powder
If you lead an active way of life or need long-term lysine supplementation, the Bulk Supplements lysine powder may be your product of choice. One package contains 1 kg of pure L-lysine HCL powder, and there are also 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 5, and 25 kg options available.
One serving of Bulk Supplements lysine powder is equal to ¼ tbsp. and packs 680 mg of amino acid. You can take up to 2 servings per day or follow recommendations provided by your healthcare practitioner.
For those who don’t like the powder taste, Bulk Supplements also offers lysine in the capsule form, in both gelatine and vegan shells.
Superior Labs Lysine Caps
Superior Labs did an excellent job at producing one of the best lysine supplements for people with food sensitivities. That’s because their capsules contain no additives, fillers, artificial flavors, and food colorants, offering you only 500 mg of pure L-Lysine HCL per serving.
This supplement is also suitable for vegans because the only ingredients used to making shells are plant-derived cellulose and rice flour. Along with that, Superior Labs involve the third-party organization in the testing of their products so that you could be sure in their quality and high potency.
The 120-count package is the only option available and it can last you from 2 to 4 months, depending on your dosage.
What Is Lysine and What Does It Do in Your Body?
Lysine is one of the 20 amino acids used in the formation of proteins. Also, lysine belongs to the subgroup of eight essential amino acids, which means that your body cannot produce it and you need to eat foods high in lysine to meet your daily intake.
Essential amino acids often have two basic forms — the L-form and the D-form. These forms are called stereoisomers, and they look like mirrored images of each other. The L-form is the predominant form and is found in foods. Also, it has better bioavailability.
The D-form typically appears in your body as a reaction byproduct, and it’s found in minimal amounts.
Lysine amino acid is involved in many physiological processes inside your body, such as:
- immune system support;
- tissue regeneration;
- hormonal regulation;
- production of enzymes;
- absorption of such micronutrients as calcium, iron, and zinc.
“Lysine also takes part in the production of L-carnitine, a chemical that acts as a transport system to deliver fatty acids in mitochondria where they’re turned into energy.”
Where Is Lysine Naturally Found?
Scientists claim that those who maintain a healthy diet and eat various foods may not worry about their lysine intake. This amino acid can be found in a variety of products, but as the case with all amino acids, the richest lysine foods are animal-based proteins:
- lean beef — 3.582 mg per 100 g;
- turkey and chicken — 3.11 mg per 100 g;
- pork — 2.757 mg per 100 g;
- fish (tuna) — 2.59 mg per 100 g;
- seafood (shrimp) — 2.172 mg per 100 g;
- egg whites — 0.912 mg per 100 g.
Nutritionists suggest that you eat at least one serving of animal protein per day; that’s more than enough to reach your daily intake.
Vegans and vegetarians can obtain L-lysine from beans, nuts, leafy greens, whole grains, and bran. The leaders, in this case, are soybeans and tofu, lentils, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and spinach.
“Note that heat processing destroys some amount of proteins and amino acids, so you should try to vary your potion in order to meet the daily value when cooked.”
Lysine Depletion Explained
Since most healthy people get enough lysine from food, the deficiency of this amino acid isn’t common. However, you might need an increased amount of lysine if you have a poor diet or fall into one of the following categories of people:
- people with injuries;
- pregnant women;
- people with malabsorption.
Typical lysine deficiency symptoms include:
- decreased appetite;
- difficulties with concentration;
- hair loss;
- irritability and poor emotional control;
Of course, these manifestations aren’t specific to lysine depletion only. That’s why you should consult your doctor and run the needed tests to know the exact reasons behind your condition.
Lysine Benefits for Health: From Well-Known Uses to Promising Options
Lysine is among the most widely researched chemicals today, which allows scientist and nutritionist to define its main uses. As of now, some lysine benefits are clinically proven, while others require more research. So, here’s what lysine does for your health.
Treats Herpes and Cold Sores
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is the most common viral infection in humans.
Usually, this virus manifests in a form of outbreaks on mucous membranes, such as lips (HSV-1) or genitals (HSV-2), when your immune system is weakened.
HSV is a highly prevalent disease, but there aren’t many remedies for its treatment. Still, the use of lysine supplements for herpes might be beneficial for people with frequent outbreaks.
Although the effects of lysine on fighting herpes aren’t entirely studied, researchers believe that this amino acid can inhibit the activity of arginine — there is a hypothesis that arginine may speed up the replication of HSV cells and provoke outbreaks. So, taking lysine supplements can lower the levels of arginine in the blood, thereby reducing the frequency of outbreaks.
And studies confirm that.
For example, the Alternative Medicine Review Journal conducted a study on 30 people with HSV-1. Half of them were applying a herbal-based ointment with L-lysine and zinc. Reports showed a significant reduction of cold sores in 40% of participants by the third day of treatment and 87% by the end of day six.
Researchers also believe that taking lysine supplements for cold sores may alleviate the outbreaks in people with HSV-2 by using the same mechanisms; however, more data is required.
“Don’t use several forms of this supplement simultaneously. Combining lysine cream and tablets will hardly increase the effectiveness of your treatment but is likely to provoke unwanted side effects.”
Aids in Wound Healing
Wound healing is a complex process that requires a variety of different substances in order to be successful. Lysine can promote tissue regeneration because it participates in collagen synthesis. Collagen is an integral part of connective tissue, which forms your skin and bones; its production decreases with age, which is why senior people often experience certain difficulties with wound healing.
Along with that, lysine can act as a binding agent in the wound area and can contribute to the formation of new cells.
A study on patients with diabetic neuropathic ulcers showed that applying a topical solution (lamin Gel) resulted in faster wound healing and reduced infection rates, compared with the patients that didn’t receive any treatment.
Promotes Calcium Absorption
Calcium deficiency is more common in pregnant women, as they share some of their calcium with the baby during pregnancy. Plus, they have thinner bones than men overall.
One of the surprising and promising uses of lysine lies in the ability of this amino acid to help the gut absorb more calcium from food and transport it into bone tissue, thereby avoiding calcium build-up in the blood vessels.
A Nutrition Journal study with a sample of 30 women (15 healthy, 15 osteoporotic) reported that taking 3 g of calcium along with 400 mg of lysine showed less excretion of calcium through urine, compared with the group that received calcium alone.
Many studies suggest that lysine may help reduce anxiety, along with B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. A 2003 study conducted on rats found that L-lysine may block some serotonin receptors (5-HT4, in particular) and reduce anxiety-related physiological responses, such as diarrhea.
Later, in 2017, a study on male participants reported that L-lysine could inhibit corticosteroids hypersecretion, which is caused by hyperactive 5-HT4 receptors. This basically proves the same health benefit of lysine.
Along with that, taking lysine and arginine together may contribute to lowering cortisol levels in blood serum in healthy humans. Scientists view this as a promising treatment for people with adrenal function impairment, as it may have little to no adverse effects.
Other Promising Studies
Now, lysine uses aren’t limited only to the cases above. There are different fields of study that show potential beneficial results of taking L-lysine:
- Complementary supplement for schizophrenic patients. Using lysine as an additional component of the complex therapy might reduce acute anxiety attacks in people with schizophrenia.
- Blood sugar regulation. L-lysine may impact insulin secretion and lower the levels of fasting blood sugar in healthy individuals.
- Improved cardiovascular health. Lysine takes part in L-carnitine synthesis, which in turn may help lower the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood and prevent it from building up in the vessels.
Note that all of these uses require more evidence about their effectiveness in the long-term perspective, as there isn’t enough data on human models at the moment.
Safety, Side Effects, and Dosage of Lysine for Different Cases
There’s no optimal lysine dosage that might work for all because:
- like all dietary supplements, lysine isn’t regulated by the FDA;
- L-lysine is used to treat various disorders and conditions, and each of them requires a specific dosage;
- we all have different ‘default settings,’ e.g. health conditions, dietary restrictions, etc.
Yet, since lysine is an essential amino acid, there has to be an amount that is considered to be safe and sufficient.
Nutritionists and healthcare practitioners define the optimal dosage of lysine to be equal to 30-40 mg/kg per day.
Thus, if your weight is 60 kg, you need to do the simple math:
40 mg x 60 = 2,400 mg or 2,4 g of lysine per day.
Most studies find doses between 500 mg and 3,000 mg of lysine per day to be safe for oral consumption.
If you increase the dosage up to 10-15 g per day, you may experience lysine side effects, such as cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. Moreover, there’s a hypothesis that taking high doses of lysine may increase the risks of developing kidney stones because of the increase in calcium absorption. That’s why if you’re prone to kidney diseases, it’s highly recommended to discuss lysine supplementation with your physician.
“The powder form of lysine may have a salty taste, which many people find unpleasant. If you’re taking lysine powder, consider to add it to your meals or dissolve in juices for better taste.”
FAQ for Lysine Users
How much lysine is too much?
Most studies find that oral supplementation with lysine up to 3 grams per day is safe for healthy people and individuals with lysine deficiency. If you think that you need higher doses, you may want to address this question to your doctor.
Why it’s advisable to take lysine on an empty stomach?
Lysine may compete with other aminos and nutrients for absorption, which is why doctors advise to take it on an empty stomach or between meals.
What’s the optimal lysine dosage during the outbreak?
It depends on the form of lysine you’re taking. For capsules, increasing the dosage to 3,000 mg should do well. Creams and topical treatments allow using a higher dosage of lysine (up to 9 grams).
Can lysine interact with other medications and supplements?
Yes. Taking calcium supplements along with lysine may result in high levels of calcium in the blood, which in turn may contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Some gastrointestinal medications for irritable bowel syndrome, such as tegaserod, may interact with lysine too.
Can I use lysine for acne?
There’s no direct evidence that lysine can improve the condition in patients with acne. However, if chronic stress and high cortisol levels cause your pimples, you may benefit from taking lysine supplements. Just be sure to consult with your doctor to find the optimal dosage.
Lysine is an essential amino acid involved in a lot of processes inside your body.
Healthy people who maintain a balanced diet are unlikely to get lysine deficiency. And yet, in such cases as trauma or pregnancy, you may need additional supplementation.
The most common and scientifically proven use of lysine attributes to treating cold sores and herpes infection.
There are also studies that allow suggesting the use of lysine in preventing bone loss and treating anxiety, but more evidence is required to prove its effectiveness.