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Oral treatment with L-lysine and L-arginine reduces anxiety and basal cortisol levels in healthy humans.

Lysine is one of nine essential amino acids in humans required for growth and tissue repair, Lysine is supplied by many foods, especially red meats, fish, and dairy products. Lysine seems to be active against herpes simplex viruses and present in many forms of diet supplements. The mechanism underlying this effect is based on the viral need for amino acid arginine; lysine competes with arginine for absorption and entry into cells. Lysine inhibits HSV growth by knocking out arginineLysine is an essential amino acid involved in many biological processes, including receptor affinity, protease-cleavage points, retention of endoplasmic reticulum, nuclear structure and function, muscle elasticity, and chelation of heavy metals.

Therapeutic Uses

Lysine appears to have antiviral, anti-osteoporotic, cardiovascular, and lipid-lowering effects, although more controlled human studies are needed.

PDR Network, LLC. PDR for Nonprescription Drugs, Dietary Supplements, and Herbs. 31st Ed. PDR Network, LLC, Montvale, NJ. 2010 p. 596

Unproven uses: The most common use of supplemental lysine is for preventing and treating episodes of herpes simplex virus. Lysine has been used in conjunction with calcium to prevent and treat osteoporosis. It has also been used for treating pain, aphthous ulcers, migraine attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, and opiate withdrawal. Many "body-building" formulations contain lysine to aid in muscle repair.

PDR Network, LLC. PDR for Nonprescription Drugs, Dietary Supplements, and Herbs. 31st Ed. PDR Network, LLC, Montvale, NJ. 2010 p. 596

/Experimental Therapy/ A major contributing factor to the loss of mobility in elderly people is the gradual and continuous loss of lean body mass ... Elderly (76 +/-1.6 years) women (n = 39) and men (n = 38) were recruited for a double-blinded controlled study. Study participants were randomly assigned to either an isonitrogenous control-supplement (n = 37) or a treatment-supplement (HMB/Arg/Lys) consisting of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, L-arginine, and L-lysine(n = 40) for the 1-year study ... In subjects taking the HMB/Arg/Lys supplement, lean tissue increased over the year of study while in the control group, lean tissue did not change ... Consumption of a simple amino acid-related cocktail increased protein turnover and lean tissue in elderly individuals in a year-long study. Abstract: PubMed

Baier S, et al; J Parenter Enteral Nutr 33 (1): 71-82 (2009). Available from, as of March 23, 2010:

Supplementation of meals with low doses of oral lysine improved fasting plasma lysine concentrations in 27 Finnish patients with lysinuric protein intolerance (LPI) without causing hyperammonemia or other recognizable side effects during 12 months of follow-up. In conclusion, low-dose oral lysine supplementation is potentially beneficial to patients with LPI and can be started safely at an early age. Abstract: PubMed

Tanner LM, et al; Metab Clin Exper 56 (2): 185-9 (2007). Available from, as of March 23, 2010:

Drug Warning

Patients with hypercholesterolemia should be aware that supplemental lysine has been linked to increased cholesterol levels in animal studies. However, other studies have shown lysine can also decrease cholesterol levels. (PDR Network)

Pharmacology

Insures the adequate absorption of calcium; helps form collagen ( which makes up bone cartilage & connective tissues); aids in the production of antibodies, hormones & enzymes. Recent studies have shown that Lysine may be effective against herpes by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth. A deficiency may result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss, anemia & reproductive problems.
Lysine is one of nine essential amino acids in humans required for growth and tissue repair, Lysine is supplied by many foods, especially red meats, fish, and dairy products. Lysine seems to be active against herpes simplex viruses and present in many forms of diet supplements. The mechanism underlying this effect is based on the viral need for amino acid arginine; lysine competes with arginine for absorption and entry into cells. Lysine inhibits HSV growth by knocking out arginine. (NCI04)