Daily Dose of Lysine: 12mg/kg of body weight
Our bodies do not produce lysine on their own so it’s important to get it from our diet and from supplements. Lysine is an amino acid that our body needs to produce energy and build protein. Like many amino acids, it is used to build muscles and collagen, which is an important component to cartilage, connective tissue, and skin. Athletes may need more lysine than what they can get from their diet, and the same goes for vegetarians or vegans who don’t eat enough protein. These people can get additional L-lysine from nutritional supplements. Besides these roles, lysine has many other benefits, such as helping the body absorb calcium in the intestines, helping manufacture enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, as well as triggering the production of creatinine. Our bodies use creatinine to convert fat into energy as well as reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Studies have shown that taking lysine can help prevent the outbreak of cold sores in people with the viral infection herpes. It may also reduce the frequency of genital herpes outbreaks, which is an infectious STD. Lysine can help reduce the appearance of painful, inflamed skin lesions in the genital area. Research is only in its preliminary stages and more research has to be done on the effects on herpes.
Lysine deficiency is very rare, even in vegetarians and people with special or restricted diets. The symptoms of a deficiency include kidney stones, dizziness, reduced appetite, fatigue, and anemia. A severe deficiency can result in hormonal imbalance, hindered sexual reproduction, and stunted growth. Eating too much processed food and not enough fruits, vegetables, and dairy products or meat is one way to be at risk of a deficiency. Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and watercress are good sources of Lysine. The typical recommended dosage is 12mg/kg of body weight or about 1g per day but some studies recommend 3g for therapeutic purposes. Anything higher than these doses could cause side effects or an overdose.
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