Lysine is a building block of protein, particularly muscle protein. It plays a role in the production of carnitine, which is involved in converting fatty acids into energy. Lysine also helps the body absorb calcium involved in the formation of collagen tissue such as cartilage and skin.
Lysine is one the the genuinely essential amino acids, which the body needs but is unable to synthesise for itself.
By using lysine as a fuel for synthesising protein, the body is able to help sustain its protein requirements. This is in addition to protein sourced directly from the diet. As a protein source lysine, along with other amino acids, helps provide protein benefits:
contributing to the maintenance of bone
contributing to the formation and sustaining of muscle mass
Lysine is also a precursor for the body’s synthesis of carnitine, which is important for the metabolism of energy from fatty acids. Carnitine’s role is to carry activated fatty acids into the mitochondrion for oxidation, and carry by-products out again, to prevent accumulation.
Lysine also appears to help the body absorb and retain calcium. In so doing it helps the body to make efficient use of its calcium resources.
There is no recommended amount for lysine consumption, but an adult’s requirement is considered to be up to 1800mg per day. Given that lysine, like other proteins and amino acids, is easily available in a regular diet, most people should easily achieve their lysine requirements. Meat, poultry, dairy, fish, nuts and pulses are all good sources of lysine.
But some groups, such as strict vegetarians and vegans, may find it harder to achieve all their protein requirements from food. In such cases a supplement will be valuable in maintaining healthy amino acid and protein levels.
Each capsule contains 450mg of lysine, which is well suited to general supplementation.
It’s not advised to take lysine supplements at the same time as arginine supplements. This is because lysine and arginine are likely to compete for absorption, and one may therefore reduce the effectiveness of the other.