Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning that it is not able be synthesized in the body. It has the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)(CH2)4NH2, and its codons are AAA and AAG. L-lysine is the biologically active form of lysine in animals.
L-lysine is the precursor for many substances that are important in human nutrition. Alpha ketoglutarate is used to convert L-lysine into acetyl-CoA, which plays an essential role in the citric acid cycle. Allysine is also derived from lysine and is used to synthesize collagen and elastin.
L-lysine can be synthesized in the laboratory from dl-α-amino-ε-caprolactam and an enzyme. The commercial production of L-lysine typically relies on fermentation by the bacteria known scientifically as Corynebacterium glutamicum. L-lysine for use in health supplements is typically prepared as L-lysine HCL, which is the hydrochloride salt of L-lysine.
The most common use of L-lysine HCL in dietary supplementation is to aid with the natural recovery of sores.
L-lysine may help to manage stress in women. They may also help manage anxiety in males.
Some studies show that daily doses of L-lysine for two months can help support the body’s ability to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Studies show that oral supplements of L-lysine may help the body manage cold sores caused by the herpes simplex labialis virus. Topical creams containing L-lysine may also be used for this purpose.
Early research indicates that L-lysine may help the body manage canker sores. The dosages studied for this purpose were as high as four grams of L-lysine per day.
Humans normally get adequate amounts of L-lysine from dietary sources, except in specific circumstances. L-lysine is primarily found in animal protein, so strict vegetarians may need L-lysine supplements. This is especially likely when a vegetarian doesn’t eat beans. Other groups that often develop an L-lysine deficiency include athletes and burn patients. As an essential amino acid, an inadequate intake of L-lysine may cause many signs such as loss of appetite, fatigue and slow growth.
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