L- lysine is termed an essential amino acid because it is a building block for protein. It’s essential because your body cannot make it, so you need to obtain it from food or supplements.

It’s is required for normal growth and muscle turnover and used to form carnitine, a substance found in most cells of your body. Lysine has also been found to aid in fat transport optimzing fat for fuel and energy by the body.


Several research studies indicated lysine containing supplements may help prevent HSV-1 (the virus that causes cold sores) from replicating and reduce the duration of a cold sore. It’s thought that lysine blocks another amino acid called arginine, which HSV-1 needs in order to multiply. One study suggested 1,000 mg of lysine daily resulted in a reduction of cold sores in 26 people that were otherwise prone to developing them. Additionally, the study reported a reduction in cold sore breakouts when a person’s blood lysine level was kept above 165 nmol/l. When blood levels dropped below this level, cold sore breakouts increased.


Several health benefits of lysine have been recognized include:

  • improve recovery of cold sores
  • lower blood pressure
  • preventing the symptoms of lysine deficiency
  • optimize the body’s absorption of calcium reducing osteoporosis
  • increase absorption of iron for blood support
  • improve absorption of zinc for immunity and wound healing
  • promoting collagen growth
  • improve production of enzymes, antibodies, and hormones
  • improve the immune system
  • reduce anxiety
  • reduce recovery from intense workouts
  • show promise aid in cancer reduction: One animal study found that lysine in combination with the antioxidant catechin reduced cancer cell growth in mice
  • may improve eye health


Some studies report a reduction in anxiety with the supplementation of L-lysine. It was noted to block receptors involved in the stress response and resulted in a measurable outcome – cortisol levels. There are reports lysine may also lower schizophrenic events. Studies are promising but limited.


Wound healing is a complex set of processes that require various minerals, vitamins and other factors. Lysine appears to have an invaluable role, and without adequate lysine, wound healing is impaired. Research shows lysine may help with wound healing by speeding up the process of repair. It directly increases the formation of protein including collagen, which is the backbone and structure for skin, bones and cartilage.

It is thought that lysine may act as a binding agent, thereby increasing the number of new cells at the wound. Others formulate it may even promote the formation of new blood vessels.

Lysine — like all amino acids — is used as a building block for protein in your body. These proteins help produce hormones, immune cells and enzymes.

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