The Natural Way

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. You'll remember the essential aminos have to be eaten while the non-essential are synthesized by the body. Remember too, amino acids when taken together help the body repair while when taken individually are used for specific purposes.

L-lysine when taken with other amino acids helps to create carnosine, which in turn stimulates essential fatty acid synthesis inside the cells. Also, when L-lysine combines with proline, a protective coating forms inside blood vessel walls to keep atherosclerotic plaques from sticking. Certainly, with our complex bodies, many more necessary bondings occur which science just doesn't know about yet. Yet, you can see just how important L-lysine is for cell function and reducing cholesterol.

When taken separately, L-Lysine is best taken without food. When you don't have enough L-lysine in your system, many symptoms can occur such as chronic fatigue, anemia, hair loss, red spider web discoloration in the eyes, irritability, reproductive troubles and an inability to concentrate. These symptoms may not be present all at one time. The opposite benefit is strongly suggested, and that is with enough L-lysine the symptom list above decreases.

L-lysine does aid in calcium absorption, so is essential for proper growth and bone development in both children and adults. It is known to aid in collagen formation, tissue repair and in building muscles. Anyone who weight trains or is simply physically active each day can benefit from adding an amino blend, including L-lysine each day, as it does help in improving muscle structure and muscle mass.

L-lysine has been used for decades to suppress the outbreak of oral herpes or cold sores. This herpes virus lives in nervous tissue and remains dormant until some kind of stressor (either physical, like a bad sunburn or a fever, or emotional, such as acute stress-like shock) causes the immune system to drop. The immune system helps keep this virus at bay. L-lysine is thought to suppress cold sores by keeping the environment inside the nervous tissue cell inhospitable to the reproduction of the virus.

Curiously, another amino acid, namely L-arginine, feeds the proliferation of herpes when taken individually and without other amino family members. More on L-arginine next week.

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