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What Is Lysine? Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

What Is Lysine? Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

Lysine is one of the 9 essential amino acids, which means it’s not produced by the body, so we need to get it from food. Lysine is necessary for repair and growth of new tissues, and for producing enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Fortunately, individuals can get lysine from red meats, turkey, and chicken, but vegetarians and vegans may find it difficult to get enough lysine in their diet. For vegans, you can get in enough lysine by eating legumes and foods such as seitan. As for ovo-vegetarians, eggs are a great source of lysine. Without enough lysine, the body cannot build enough protein to sustain muscle tissue. People also use lysine to make medicine.


Benefits of Lysine

Simply getting in enough Lysine in one’s diet is crucial to build and maintain muscle mass, considering it’s an essential amino acid. Also, getting in enough lysine can help with mental health, because it has been shown to decrease anxiety in individuals. Lysine is also essential for calcium absorption, so even if you think you’re getting in enough calcium, you also need to make sure your body can absorb the nutrient properly. A main reason people also supplement with Lysine is to prevent herpes simplex. For the most part, taking lysine is mostly for prevention of the herpes virus, but not so much for treating it. However, taking lysine can prevent future re-occurrences.


Dosage of Lysine

what is lysine

The general recommended dosage for lysine ranges from 1-3 grams, and is safe for adults and children. It’s always better to get nutrients from food, but supplementation is always a safe and sure way to ensure an individual is getting enough nutrients. This dosage has shown to prevent and treat those with herpes simplex infections.


Side Effects of Lysine

Some side effects of taking lysine include gastrointestinal distress and pain, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. For the most part, it’s safe to take lysine as long as you’re taking the recommended dosage and not overdoing it. Obviously, it’s also best consult with a doctor, and to go from their recommendations. For some warning though, there has been a report of kidney disease from supplementation with lysine, so check with your healthcare provider about taking lysine if you have had kidney problems. However, Lysine may help with osteoporosis due to more calcium absorption, and getting in enough calcium is essential for strong bones and development. As for pregnancy and breastfeeding, there is not enough reliable information about taking lysine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unfortunately.


Take-Home Message

Overall, it does seem beneficial to be taking lysine and to be getting enough in one’s diet. It’s always best to talk to an actual doctor or physician’s assistant about supplementation though if you feel it is necessary. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately, MyProtein sells some pretty amazing lysine if you feel supplementation is necessary for you.



James Braun

James Braun

Writer and expert


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