The Cooper Complete® line of supplements recently introduced L-Lysine, or Lysine, an essential amino acid and a building block of protein that is found in foods and supplements.
The best food sources of Lysine are animal protein and legumes, but Lysine is also found in dairy products, nuts and tofu. Lysine helps in calcium absorption, building muscle protein, recovering from surgery or sports injuries and the body’s production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies.
Researchers have studied the impact of Lysine on a variety of conditions, including stress, metabolic disorders, strength enhancement, Aphthous ulcers (commonly known as canker sores) and the Herpes simplex virus. Most of the studies involving Lysine have been small, but here is some of the research that’s encouraging.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) infections are common, with an estimated 90 percent of American adults having been exposed to HSV-1. HSV-1 is the main cause of herpes infections on the lips and mouth, including cold sores and fever blisters. In some, the virus is dormant, while others suffer from repeated flare-ups. While some studies suggest that regular use of Lysine can help prevent flare-ups of cold sores and herpes, others showed no benefit, potentially due to the amount of Lysine administered daily in each study.
In a double-blind placebo controlled study of 52 participants with a history of HSV-1 flare-ups, the treatment group received 3,000 mg (three grams) of Lysine daily for six months. In comparison to the control group, the treatment group experienced an average of 2.4 fewer HSV-1 flare-ups than the placebo group. Also, the Lysine group’s flare-ups were significantly less severe and healed more quickly. While this study called for 3,000 mg of Lysine per day, in general, the studies that had subjects take a minimum of 1,000 mg per day had positive results.
Aphthous ulcers, or canker sores, are painful open sores in the mouth. While these mouth ulcers may be caused by a viral infection, canker sores have also been linked to stress, hormonal changes and food allergies. About 10 percent of our population suffers regularly with canker sores, and women, more often than men, seem to have them. There’s a small study that suggests 500 mg of Lysine daily works well for ulcer prevention with 1,000 mg daily used for treatment.
Individuals who suffer with canker sores or herpes outbreaks may find the supplement Lysine helpful in managing their condition. However, high doses of Lysine have caused gallstones and elevated cholesterol levels, so if you have high cholesterol, heart disease or high triglycerides, you should talk with your physician before taking Lysine supplements.
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