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Lysine is an essential amino acid, one that you need to get from food. Some evidence suggests that supplemental lysine may be able to help some conditions including herpes infections and anxiety.
Effect of Lysine on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Research Evidence on Lysine
One study found that week-long oral treatment with lysine (2.64 g per day) and arginine (2.64 g per day) could reduce general levels of anxiety.57
Although lysine is an essential part of the diet, the safety of concentrated lysine supplements has not been well studied. In animal studies, high dosages have caused gallstones and elevated cholesterol levels, 1 so you may want to use caution when using lysine if you have either of these problems. Maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.
Interactions You Should Know About
- Kritchevsky D, Weber MM, Klurfeld DM. Gallstone formation in hamsters: Influence of specific amino acids. Nutr Rep Int. 1984;29:117-121.
- Griffith RS, DeLong DC, Nelson JD. Relation of arginine-lysine antagonism to herpes simplex growth in tissue culture. Chemotherapy. 27(3):209-13.
- Smriga M, Ando T, Akutsu M, et al. Oral treatment with L-lysine and L-arginine reduces anxiety and basal cortisol levels in healthy humans. Biomed Res. 2007;28:85-90.
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