L-lysine is an amino acids with a pharmacological use much more specific than that of most other amino acids.

Lysine - amino acid against herpes

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So far, supplementation of l-lysine is one of the best options available for the treatment of herpes simplex[1] virus infections, especially oral forms. L-lysine [2] is also much cheaper than antiviral drugs such as Acyclovir. L-lysine supplementation works by tilting the balance between lysine and arginine [3] heavily in favor of lysine. This ameliorates herpes outbreaks because the herpes virus depends on the presence of arginine for its replication.

Lysine in combination with arginine is used by bodybuilders for the combination's alleged effect of stimulating the release of growth hormone.

Lysine has also been shown to be useful in the prevention of atherosclerosis[4], a hardening of the walls of arteries caused by deposits of lipoproteins (fats). Lysine may be capable of loosening and preventing such deposits, therefore keeping artery walls flexible. Thus, there is less susceptibility for hypertension[5] (high blood pressure). Hypertension is a major factor in heart attack and stroke.


1 Griffith R.S.a · Walsh D.E.b · Myrmel K.H.b · Thompson R.W.b · Behforooz A.c , Success of L-Lysine Therapy in Frequently Recurrent Herpes simplex Infection, Dermatologica 1987;175:183–190

2 Civitelli R, Villareal DT, Agnusdei D, Nardi P, Avioli LV, Gennari C, Dietary L-lysine and calcium metabolism in human, Europe Pub Med Central, Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.) [1992, 8(6):400-405]

3 Georges Copinschia, et al Effect of arginine on serum levels of insulin and growth hormone in obese subjects, Metabolism Volume 16, Issue 6, June 1967, Pages 485–491

4 David Kritchevsky, Vegetable protein and atherosclerosis, Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society March 1979, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 135-140

5 Yukio Yamori, et al, Cardiac hypertrophy in early hypertension , The American Journal of Cardiology Volume 44, Issue 5, 22 October 1979, Pages 964–969

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