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A quick guide on the uses of lysine supplements for skin.
Lysine monohydrochloride or L-lysine is an essential amino acid required by our body for various bodily functions. L-Lysine aids in the proper functioning of:
- immune system
- it helps to treat acne breakouts and acne scars
- lessens stress
- maintains bone health
- prevents kidney disease
- maintains skin health
- aids in good calcium absorption
- improves wound healing
- it helps form muscles
Before getting into details of L-lysine, let’s understand amino acids.
What are amino acids?
To put it simply, these acids are nothing but the building blocks of proteins. This essential biological compound is observed in all life forms, from microbes to humans.
There are more than 500 of these acids that have been identified. However, among them, only 20 amino acids help make proteins, and the other amino acids have no function in protein making.
These essential compounds can be classified into two different types:
- Essential amino acid
- Non-essential amino acid
1. Essential amino acid(s)
There are 9 essential amino acids. Our bodies do not synthesize these. The only source of obtaining them is a balanced diet and other dietary supplements.
These include leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, histidine, isoleucine, tryptophan, and valine.
2. Non-essential amino acid(s)
The human body can synthesize these compounds. There are 11 non-essential amino acids. These are readily available in our bodies.
They include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
The other category includes conditional amino acids.
These are neither essential nor non-essential building blocks of proteins.
Our body requires them during any disease.
These include tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, arginine, cysteine, serine.
Lysine for skin
Collagen production is essential for overall skin health.
It makes the skin healthy and bouncy. Collagen improves skin elasticity at the cellular level strengthening the skin cells.
It may also help fade away wrinkles and strengthen connective tissue in the body.
As the body’s ability to produce lysine or L-lysine is zero, it should be administered to the body through a diet rich in lysine.
Administering a varied diet rich in vitamins and other nutrients can improve any skin condition, making it healthy and naturally beautiful.
L-lysine can also be taken by oral supplementation. It takes 15 to 30 days for most skin cells to turn over.
So while taking L-lysine through lysine supplementation or diet, one should wait for at least 15 to 30 days to observe any change.
Lysine Supplements for Skin Acne
The painful inflammatory acne breakouts are hectic and faced by many.
Acne breakouts usually occur when the hair follicles, openings are clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells.
When bacteria infect these clogged pores, it leads to acne breakouts.
Recent studies show that taking lysine may curb acne.
Taking enough lysine through food or going for oral lysine has some potential health benefits.
Besides L-lysine, salicylic acid also shows effective results and prevents acne and exfoliates dead skin cells.
Lysine for cold sores (herpes)
Lysine is used to treat cold sores or fever blisters.
These are usually formed due to viral infections.
The herpes virus causes these sores. Cold sores are the common name of herpes infection.
Fever blisters, swollen lymph nodes, ulcers.
These blisters are often painful and are filled with pusses.
Transmission of herpes
It is contagious and spreads to a healthy person through direct contact.
Types of herpes infection
Cold sores seen around the mouth are also called herpes simplex labialis. This is easily transmitted to a healthy person through close contacts, like kissing.
Herpes which is observed on facial skin, is called facial herpes.
Herpes occurs at different areas of the body; depending upon the occurrence locations, the herpes is named and classified. For example, genital herpes is when the infection is noticed on the genitals. It is transmitted through direct sexual contact with the infected person.
Facial and circumoral herpes, common cutaneous herpes etc., are the other forms.
Herpes simplex prophylaxis
There is no available cure for herpes. However, it can be treated with some specific antiviral drug administration. Valacyclovir is the common medication used.
L-Lysine therapy is also proved to help in the treatment of herpes.
Are Lysine Supplements for Skin Safe?
These are generally suggested when you are not getting enough lysine through your diet.
These oral supplements are usually considered safe for consumption. But one should always consult their respective doctors before a proper dosage.
Other benefits of lysine:
1. May reduce cancer cell growth
A small study proved that intake of L-lysine along with particular antioxidants called catechin significantly reduced the growth of cancer cells in the affected organism.
2. May improve eye health
Daily intake of lysine in the required amounts improves the health of the eyes and reduces the chances of occurrence of cataracts.
This vital amino acid intake is, proven to reduce the blood sugar in the body.
4. Blood Pressure
When an experiment was conducted by taking 50 adults with high blood pressure and deficiency of lysine and were given lysine, their blood pressure was significantly reduced.
5. Helps treat anxiety
A study conducted in Syria found that lysine improved conditions in people with long-term anxiety issues.
Lysine rich foods
Foods rich in proteins have a good amount of lysine in them.
Plant sources of lysine
Tomatoes, beans, beets, leeks, potatoes, green and red peppers, dried mangoes and apricots, avocados, soybeans, tofu, soy milk, kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, lentils, pistachio, cashews, macadamia, pumpkin seeds are rich in lysine.
Certain grains are also rich in lysines like amaranth and quinoa.
But most of the grains are not rich in lysine content.
Animal-based sources of lysine
Oysters, shrimp, meat, snails, chicken, certain fishes like sardines are rich in lysine.
Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, milk are also good sources of lysine.
Lysine is a vital amino acid required for many body functions. The amount of lysine a person needs depends upon the person’s body weight.
For example, a person with a bodyweight of 70 kgs requires 1000 to 3000 mg of lysine per day.
The deficiency of lysine in the body leads to the following problems:
- Inhibited growth
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of hair
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Redness of eyes
- Early signs of aging
- Less absorption of calcium
Prolonged deficiency of lysine leads to chronic anxiety. This condition is usually observed in economically vulnerable communities.
A small study was conducted to see the effects of lysine fortified wheat consumption on anxiety and stress.
This study proved that lysine fortification reduces anxiety.
Hence it is necessary to maintain a proper lysine intake in daily diet.
Excessive intake of lysine leads to some severe problems, such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Renal failure
- Interstitial nephritis
- Excessive absorption of calcium
Lysinuric protein intolerance
Some people are allergic to lysinuric protein. It is a medical condition in which the ability of the body to process certain amino acids is significantly reduced.
These amino acid-rich foods lead to symptoms like nausea after eating. Other symptoms include an enlarged spleen, short stature, bone weakness.
All these things are supposed to be considered before making any changes to your diet.
Lysine Supplements for Skin: Conclusion
Various clinical studies have been conducted to assess the effects of lysine on the skin, and most studies have concluded that it is safe to use lysine for skin problems.
Mostly for cold sores, lysine is suggested. It is vital to remember that the dosage of lysine depends on what you are using it for. However, the generally prescribed dosage is 1g per day in dietary form.
So, if you are thinking of using lysine for skin problems, consult your doctor first.