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L-lysine is a form of lysine which is an essential amino acid, meaning it cannot be synthesized by our body and must therefore be obtained from our diet or through supplements. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and L-lysine is required as a building block for all protein in the human body.

Amino acids play important roles in our body, and are necessary for normal growth and development of the body. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption; building muscle protein; and recovering from injury. It serves in the production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. Lysine may also be beneficial for those who have shingles and herpes simplex.

Symptoms of lysine deficiency include fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, anemia and tiredness. Lysine deficiency can also cause niacin deficiency, which leads to pellagra.

Lysine can be found in protein-rich foods such as meats, cheese, fish, nuts, and eggs. While it is the limiting amino acid in many grains, it is abundant in most legumes.

Health benefits of L-lysine

  • Essential building block for all proteins
  • Needed for normal growth and bone development
  • Assists in absorption of calcium
  • Assists in tissue repair following injury
  • Play an important role in formation of collagen
  • Used to treat herpes simplex and shingles


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Principal Author: M. Ofiyeva
Date of Initial Publication: 07/05/2007
Article Last Updated: 03/10/2011