Lysine is an amino acid found in protein products such as meat, beans, milk, cereals. Grain proteins, as a rule, are characterized by a low content of lysine. The bioavailability of the amino acid is reduced during cooking using the heat treatment products.
Lysine is an amino acid that is part of all the proteins in the human body. And despite the fact that it is a key element necessary for the normal functioning of the body, the body is not able to provide itself with lysine, so it is important to take care of the quality of its diet.
1889 is considered the year of “birth” of the amino acid lysine. It was then that lysine was removed from casein, and in 1955 in the USA they were able to produce lysine hydrochloride. At this time in the States they tried to create a special kind of bread – saturated with lysine, which they planned to sell among people whose diet was far from balanced. But this idea did not find support. And since 1970-x, lysine is used as an additive to animal feed, and bodybuilders use muscle for rapid growth.
Lysine plays an important role in the body – combining with vitamins, strengthens the immune system, preserving health. Providing yourself with this amino acid is not difficult – it is in many products of different categories. But improper cooking (too long a heat treatment) can significantly reduce, and sometimes even completely “squeeze out” everything useful from the product.
Like many other amino acids, lysine is often used to build muscle and accumulate collagen, which is an important component of cartilage, connective tissue, and skin. Do you want to build muscle? It is worth thinking about the consumption of sufficient portions of lysine. In addition, the amino acid promotes the absorption of calcium from the intestine, which subsequently facilitates the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies, and also stimulates the production of creatinine (necessary for the conversion of fat into energy). Also, the amino acid has soothing properties, which makes it effective in combating depression, stress and anxiety.
Lysine is used for the prevention and treatment of various infections and herpes. The substance has shown its effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of stomatitis. According to some reports, it is effective in sore throat and migraines. It is important for diabetics, since regular consumption of amino acids can reduce sugar levels.
Influence on the body
In the tissues of the liver, lysine is converted into carnitine, which helps the body get rid of excess fat. And studies have shown that regular consumption of lysine leads to a decrease in the level of “bad” cholesterol.
Perhaps everyone knows that calcium is crucial for healthy bones. Lysine helps the body absorb this beneficial element and slows down its elimination, which helps to strengthen bone tissue. With age, the skeleton density decreases, which means that the need for lysine increases. Especially useful this amino acid is for people with osteoporosis.
In alternative medicine, lysine is actively used to treat herpes viruses. Being an antiviral agent, it blocks its vitality. It is believed that a lysine-rich diet can prevent the recurrence of herpes, and if the virus has already crawled out, the rash heals faster and less painfully. Meanwhile, in official medicine, the amino acid is not used as a medicine against the virus.
Being the main component of proteins, the amino acid ensures the proper development of the body, promotes growth in children. A lack of lysine can cause growth to stop.
- Stress, anxiety.
A diet made up of lysine-containing foods protects the body from the effects of nervous disorders, reduces anxiety, and positively affects the person’s emotional state.
It is believed that lysine has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. So far, scientists cannot guarantee this at 100 percent, as research continues. But the first positive results have already been recorded.
- A heart.
Lysine can relieve angina, especially if it works in combination with vitamin C.
Amino Acid Absorption
Lysine exists in two “versions”: L and D. To the human body, only L-lysine is “tough” to the human body. But in order for assimilation to be complete, the amino acid must be consumed in combination with vitamins A, B1, C, as well as with iron and bioflavonoids. When choosing foods rich in lysine, do not forget about this rule.
Secondly, lysine can “work” in the body only in the presence of another amino acid – arginine. By the way, the ideal products, where both substances are combined, are different types of cheese and dairy products. In other cases, you can come up with food combinations with the obligatory presence of nuts, chocolate, gelatin. These products are excellent sources of arginine.
The safe daily amount of lysine is considered to be the dosage from 1 to 3.
But usually the rate is determined individually, based on age, as well as health status. For the treatment of herpes, for example, you will need a dose slightly higher than the generally accepted daily recommendation. For people suffering from cardiac disorders, the amount of essential amino acid is determined individually.
In addition, there are nuances when the daily rate of lysine needs to be increased. This usually applies to people on a low-fat diet or on a low-lipid diet.
The second category is aged people. A special need for additional doses of lysine is experienced by older men.
The third group, whose menu should include more protein foods, is vegetarians. This is because proteins from animal and plant foods are absorbed at different intensities.
And the fourth category of people who also should not neglect lysine is athletes and those who are subjected to heavy physical exertion. Otherwise, they will have to face such troubles as tendon inflammation and muscle wasting.
Meanwhile, the use of pharmacological analogues of the natural amino acid is not recommended for people with renal insufficiency or liver disease. Poisoning with the substance can cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and aggravate nephritis or liver ailments.
Consequences of the deficit
Lysine deficiency is extremely rare. Lack of substance may manifest symptoms that resemble ordinary flu. In addition, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, the formation of kidney stones. Female infertility can also be caused by a lysine deficiency. A severe form of deficiency manifests itself in hormonal imbalances, which affects the reproductive system, stops growth in children. The consequence of a lack of substance is considered anemia, a tendency to viral diseases, problems with the performance of the male reproductive system, menstrual disorders in women, hair loss, eye redness (a vascular network appears on the eye membrane).
At risk are people in which the diet does not have fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meat. Instead, sweet, soda and improperly cooked foods are abused.
In addition, regular stresses can cause the development of lysine-deficiency, the consequences of which become more difficult for the body to overcome. Nervous shocks contribute to a faster “consumption” of lysine. If a stressful situation is repeated quite often for a short time, the body does not have time to replenish the reserves of the wasted amino acid. Subsequently, the body becomes defenseless against attacks of viruses.
What is dangerous excess
Given that lysine lacks the ability to accumulate in the tissues of the body, it would not seem necessary to talk about the dangers of overdose. Moreover, many experts are inclined to believe that this amino acid is not capable of causing harm to humans. And even if surpluses appear in the body, there will be only benefit from them – they will serve as an additional source of strength.
Meanwhile, there is another view on the problem. More theoretical than practical. But still … Some researchers believe that nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps may indicate that there is too much amino acid in the body called lysine. In addition, an excess of substance, in their opinion, can trigger the formation of gallstones and an increase in triglycerides. It is believed that taking high-dose pharmacy lysine for a long time can raise cholesterol levels.
Lysine rich foods
It is known that the best sources of proteins are food of animal origin. But when it comes to replenishing lysine from protein foods, even vegetarians have nothing to worry about. The list of lysine rich foods is huge. And supporters of different power systems can choose for themselves the most appropriate options. But it is worth remembering that the cereals after processing, and even in combination with sugar, lose almost all lysine reserves. And at the same time, among plant foods, the highest concentration of amino acids is in legumes.
Vegetables: leafy, such as spinach and cabbage, cauliflower, celery, legumes, soybeans, lentils.
Fruits: pears, papaya, apricots, bananas, apples.
Nuts: almonds, cashews.
Dairy products: cheeses (cottage cheese, cheese, parmesan), yogurt, milk, eggs.
Meat: red, pork, lamb, poultry (turkey, chicken).
Fish: cod, sardines.
Interaction with other substances:
- Amino acid enhances the toxicity of aminoglycosides.
- Together with antibiotics, lysine can cause allergic reactions in the form of diarrhea and nausea.
- Do not take high doses of calcium against the background of amino acids. Increased absorption of nutrients can lead to hypercalcemia.
- For the assimilation of lysine, the obligatory combination with arginine is necessary.
- A combination useful for the body is a “cocktail” of lysine, iron, vitamins C, A, B1, bioflavonoids. This combination will maximize the benefits of proteins.
Among all amino acids, there are only three that play a vital role for the human body. And lysine is one of them. Without adequate replenishment of the reserves of this substance, the production of enzymes and hormones, regeneration and tissue growth will stop. Without regular amino acid production, the vessels will lose strength, and the ligaments will lose elasticity, and even the mammary glands will cease to function as nature intended.
And vice versa: you don’t have to worry about possible strokes, heart attacks, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, if in your traditional menu there is a place for foods with a high protein content, which means lysine.