There are 20 essential amino acids the body uses to build proteins. Over time, humans have evolved by gaining the ability to produce 11 of those amino acids through the food they eat. But what about the other nine? The body doesn’t make these on its own. That’s why it’s so important to consume foods that contain these remaining amino acids in order to stay healthy. Lysine is one of those nine essential amino acids you should include in your diet. By consuming lysine rich foods, you’re ensuring that your body is getting all the protein building blocks it needs.
Because of the role lysine plays in the building of proteins, it can offer numerous health benefits.
Supports the Immune System
Having a strong immune system is crucial to helping your body avoid and fight off infections. Because lysine is so essential to building proteins, it helps support the immune system. Antibodies, which help the body fight off infections and disease, are made up of proteins. Since the cells in your body are constantly dividing and breaking down, your body needs something to aid in cell replenishment. This aid is lysine, which builds proteins, and as a result, proteins build cells.
Lysine can also help strengthen the immune system by adjusting body chemistry and supporting a healthy acid/alkaline balance. This means that lysine can help make the body less inviting and hospitable for germs and other foreign organisms. Lysine can help the body fight herpes viruses as well. These viruses are dependent on a certain amino acid called arginine for replication. By consuming more lysine, whether through foods or a supplement, your body is better equipped to fight off the illness. This is because lysine counterbalances arginine, which makes it harder for herpes and other viruses to replicate. As a result, lysine can prevent herpes outbreaks and reduce the duration and severity of these outbreaks.
Lysine can help reduce anxiety by blocking stress response receptors. In one study, 50 healthy people took 2.64 grams of lysine for one week. The study found that the supplement had lowered stress-induced anxiety and reduced levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.
Promotes Wound Healing
Lysine can help wounds heal faster and reduce the chance of infection. The formation of collagen, a protein that helps promote skin regeneration and the growth of new skin cells, requires the presence of lysine. Because lysine promotes collagen formation, it can help speed up the skin’s repair process. Lysine can also act as a binding agent, which can help new cells clump together at a wound site, thus, promoting faster healing.
While more research is necessary to determine the true effects lysine has on health, increasing your lysine intake may be worth a try. Whether you’re taking a supplement or eating foods that contain high amounts of the amino acid, you could see a significant improvement in your health and overall wellbeing. But before making changes to your diet, it’s usually a good idea to consult with a health professional for the best course of action.