Lysine is an amino acid (building block of protein). People use it to make medicine.
Lysine is used for preventing and treating cold sores (caused by the virus called herpes simplex labialis). It is taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin for this use.
Lysine is also taken by mouth to improve athletic performance.
How does it work?
Lysine seems to prevent the herpes virus from growing.
Possibly Effective for:
- Cold sores (herpes simplex labialis). Research suggests that lysine seems to reduce cold sores when taken by mouth and also when applied as a cream to the skin. However, some research suggests that it does not reduce the severity or recurrence of cold sores.
- Canker sores. Early research suggests that taking 500 mg of lysine daily prevents canker sores and 4000 mg daily decreases the length of canker sores.
- Diabetes. Some evidence shows that taking lysine daily for 2 months does not affect bloodsugar levels in people with diabetes. However, other early research suggests that taking lysine twice daily for 2 months decreases blood sugar levels compared to before treatment in diabetes patients.
- Stress. Early research suggests that eating wheat that contains added lysine reduces stress in females and anxiety in males.
- Improving athletic performance.
Side Effects & Safety
Lysine is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth at recommended doses for up to one year, or when applied to the skin short-term. It can cause side effects such as stomach pain and diarrhea.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking lysine if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Kidney disease: There is one report of kidney disease linked with taking lysine supplements. If you have a kidney disease, check with your healthcare provider before taking lysine.
Osteoporosis: Using Lysine with calciumsupplements might increase calcium absorption.
Intolerance to lysinuric protein: Lysine supplementation might cause diarrhea and stomach cramps in children who are intolerant to lysinuric protein.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Calcium supplements interacts with LYSINE
Lysine can increase how much calcium the body absorbs. Taking calcium along with lysine can increase the amount of calcium in the body. Avoid taking large amounts of calcium and lysine at the same time.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For cold sores (herpes simplex labialis): 1000 mg daily for 12 months and 1000 mg three times daily for 6 months.
- For treating cold sores (herpes simplex labialis): a specific combination of lysine plus zinc oxide and 14 other ingredients (Super Lysine Plus +) applied every 2 hours for 11 days has been used.