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Lysine is needed for proper growth and bone development in children and to maintain a proper nitrogen balance in adults. Lysine helps in the absorption and conservation of calcium and plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a component of cartilage and connective tissue. Lysine plays a role in the production of antibodies and lowers triglyceride levels. Measurement of lysine is included in the Amino Acids, Plasma and Amino Acids, Urine tests along with 23 other amino acids.

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Lysine (Lys/K) is an essential amino acid that is widely known for its antiviral properties. It helps prevent cold sores and other viral infections and is essential for hormone production and bone growth and maintenance in both children and adults.

Lysine is involved in the production of antibodies which may be part of the reason it is so effective in fighting viruses. Lysine also helps prevent the body from absorbing the amino acid arginine, which the herpes virus needs to reproduce. Studies have shown that taking supplemental L-lysine in combination with vitamin C and flavonoids can effectively fight and/or prevent herpes outbreaks. Lysine supplements have also been used to prevent shingles. Lysine promotes the formation of both collagen and muscle protein and can help speed recovery from surgery and sports injuries.

Lysine has a net positive charge, making it one of the three essential (by charge) amino acids. Lysine is one of the essential amino acids, meaning it cannot be produced in the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Good sources of lysine include cheese, eggs, fish, beans, milk, potatoes, red meat, soy products, and yeast.

Most people get enough lysine from the diet, but cases of lysine deficiency have been reported, particularly in those with low-protein diets or eating disorders. Lysine deficiency can include vision disturbances, hair loss, inability to concentrate, irritability, lack of energy, poor appetite, infertility, delayed growth, and weight loss.

Doses of more than 10 gr per day may cause gastrointestinal disturbances (cramps, diarrhea). In very large doses (10 to 30 g per day), lysine increases the toxicity of aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin, neomycin, and streptomycin.

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