L Lysine

L Lysine

L Lysine

Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND


L Lysine is an amino acid you may have heard of. When most people think of Lysine they usually think of cold sores. However Lysine is much more than “the cold sore supplement”. Before we talk about what Lysine is good for let’s do a quick review on exactly what it is. L Lysine or Lysine for short is considered to be an essential nutrient since it is vital to our health and yet our body can’t make it. More specifically it is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are the “building blocks” our body use to build different compounds. (15)  That being said what exactly does Lysine do? Studies have found that having appropriate levels of Lysine in our diet can improve immune health. On the other hand studies have found that being deficient in Lysine can increase pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreases the anti-inflammatory cytokines. In other words if you are low in Lysine it can lead to a pro-inflammatory state. (1)

Studies have found that Lysine is important when controlling different viral infections. (2) Other studies have found that Lysine can help to decrease the healing time of lesions associated with viral infections such as herpes. (3) When Lysine is used in a combination with other amino acids it has been found to be antiviral and help with influenza A virus. (4) Additionally Lysine has been found to help with viral infections such as adenovirus, cytomegalovirus and even measles. (5)

While the immune boosting benefits of Lysine are impressive I want to review a few of the lesser known benefits of Lysine. Studies have found that Lysine can help to decrease stress and anxiety especially for those who are experiencing very high stress levels. In fact after 3 months Lysine was found to help decrease cortisol levels in women. (6) In one study supplementation with Lysine and arginine decreased anxiety and cortisol levels after only 1 week. (7)  While more research is defiantly called for studies show that Lysine may work with medication to help improve symptoms of schizophrenia. (8)

Lysine has also been found to help with our bone health. In a 2018 study Lysine was found to increase the bioavailability of calcium in those with osteopenia. (9) Another study from 2022 found that certain amino acids, including Lysine have a positive effect on bone health. (10) Now as we all know calcium is just one part of our bones. The other part of the equation is collagen. Lysine has been found to help build up our collagen levels. (11) Collagen is a vital part of our bones, joints and also our hair, skin and nails. In fact a 2023 study found using a Lysine cream was helpful in healing diabetic foot ulcers. (12) Other studies have found that having inadequate amounts of Lysine can impair would healing. (13)

While these are certainly the most well studies benefits there are other potential benefits such as for eye health. In fact in a 2022 study Lysine was found to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. Studies have also found that Lysine can help to regulate blood sugar and even help with normalizing blood pressure. (14)

As you can see Lysine has many benefits! To determine if Lysine is good for your goals Invite nutritionists are always here to help! Our next top is going to be The Flu!



  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947207/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35723628/
  3. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bcp.15444
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9266999/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354035681_Theoretical_Discussion_of_the_Probable_Mechanisms_for_the_Antiviral_Effects_of_L-Lysine
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC307574/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17510493/
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022395614002520
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343570/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9569615/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507709/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10349317/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4217039/
  14. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lysine-benefits

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