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Are you getting enough of this amino acid?

Updated: Jun 26, 2018

L-lysine is an essential amino acid. Many people know that several amino acids are known as the “building blocks of protein” and are needed in order for a huge number of proper internal functions, including growth.

Of the few hundred amino acids found in nature, 20 are necessary for protein creation and growth, and only 10 of those 20 can be produced by the body. The remaining 10 are known as “essential” amino acids because humans must consume them for proper health. Amino acid deficiencies cause a degradation of internal cells and can lead to huge problems, so it’s important to get enough of them in your diet.

Consuming L-lysine is associated with better absorption of calcium, which leads some to believe that it can help people with or at risk for osteoporosis. No studies have been done to date on the link between L-lysine and osteoporosis, but because of the important role calcium plays in bone health, logic suggests it may be a beneficial nutrient to supplement those with brittle bones.

In fact, calcium is good for more than just your bones — consuming appropriate amounts of calcium is associated with healthy weight, cancer prevention, PMS symptom reduction, dental health, nerve and muscle health, and the prevention of diabetes.

Athletes often take L-lysine as a protein supplement to improve performance. This, too, may be related to the way L-lysine causes your body to absorb calcium.

Signs of Lysine deficiency.

  • Loss of appetite

  • Excessive hair loss

  • Hyper-stimulated, lack of focus

  • Fatigue

  • Agitation, mood swing

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Kidney stones

  • Anemia

  • Stunted growth

  • Nausea, dizziness

  • Reproductive disorders

Foods high in lysine.

  • Lean beef and lamb – 3582 mg/100g

  • Parmesan cheese – 3306 mg/100g

  • Poultry (turkey, chicken) – 3110 mg/100g

  • Pork – 2757 mg/100g

  • Soya beans and products (tofu, protein powder, flour) – 2634 mg/100g

  • Tuna – 2590 mg/100g

  • Shrimp – 2172 mg/100g

  • Pumpkin seeds – 1386 mg/100g

  • Eggs – 912 mg/100g

  • White beans – 668 mg/100g

  • Other fish (cod, sardine) and shellfish

  • Nuts, seeds, eggs, beans, and lentils

  • Spirulina and fenugreek seeds

The average person (around 150 pounds) should get between 800–3,000 milligrams of L-lysine in his or her diet each day. Dosage recommendations for treating herpes outbreaks are suggested at one to three grams daily of an additional L-lysine supplement

What Food Has the Highest Amount of L-Lysine?

Foods high in protein are naturally rich in lysine, with meat and poultry topping the list. A 387-gram broiled beef flank steak has 9 grams of lysine, more than three times your recommended daily intake. A roasted pork chop has 2.2 grams of lysine, and a stewed chicken breast half contains 2.3 grams. Adding one serving of meat or poultry gives you all the lysine you need for the day.

How Much Lysine Is in Sweet Potatoes?

Because most fruits and vegetables are low in protein, they do not provide much lysine. A medium sweet potato, baked in its skin, has 96 milligrams of lysine, providing less than 5 percent of your daily requirement. Although sweet potatoes are not rich sources of lysine, they are often served with protein sources, and they add a small, supplemental amount of this amino acid to your meal.

Don't take your lysine lightly, Pretty DOES lysine.

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