What Are the Uses of the Vitamin L, Lysine?


Quick Answer

Lysine is an essential amino acid necessary for human nutrition that helps the absorption of calcium, treats herpes and increases muscle mass, according to Drugs.com. Different forms of lysine can also treat pain, detoxify the body after heroin use and ameliorate the effects of angina. Because of its ability to help with calcium absorption, lysine may help counter the effects of osteoporosis.

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Full Answer

Lysine can only be found in foods, meaning the human body does not produce the amino acid on its own. The essential amino acid is found in red meat, pork, poultry, cod, sardines, nuts, eggs, soybeans, spirulina and legumes. The recommended dose of lysine for humans 13 and older is about 12 milligrams per day. The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that supplements of lysine come in tablets, capsules, creams and liquids. For treatment of the herpes simplex virus, doctors recommend anywhere between 3,000 to 9,000 milligrams per day.

Patients with kidney and liver impairment should avoid lysine supplements. Drugs.com explains that adverse reactions to lysine may include diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. High doses of the amino acid have been known to cause gallstones, renal failure and Fanconi syndrome, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The amino acid interacts with arginine and aminoglycoside antibiotics. Normal amounts of lysine in the human diet are known to be safe.

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