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Lysine & Threonine

By Renda Hawwa, Ph.D.

Lysine and threonine are essential amino acids, meaning they cannot be produced by the body. However, both have many health benefits when taken as a supplement. Lysine and threonine are found in many foods, including dairy products, meat and vegetables, and can also be purchased in pill and powder forms.

Lysine Health Benefits

Lysine plays a role in keeping a healthy immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies. Lysine is an effective supplement for fighting off conditions induced by herpes viruses, including cold sores and shingles. Lysine works by stopping absorption of the amino acid arginine, an important component needed for herpes virus replication. Lysine also promotes collagen and muscle protein formation, aiding in speedy recovery from sports injuries and surgeries.

Threonine Health Benefits

Threonine also aids in the production of antibodies to strengthen the immune system. Threonine is mostly found in the central nervous system; it can help combat depression. Threonine is necessary for creating glycine and serine, two amino acids required to produce collagen, muscle tissue and elastin. This helps keep the body and heart strong and elastic. Threonine also helps speed wound healing and recovery from injury, by helping build strong bones. Threonine also helps with fat digestion, helping thwart liver failure by preventing fat buildup in the liver.

Lysine and Threonine Deficiency

Those with a low protein diet may have a lysine deficiency. Symptoms may include irritability, lack of energy, poor appetite, or inability to concentrate. Physical symptoms may include bloodshot eyes, loss of hair, retarded growth, and weight loss. Because of its abundance in the human diet, threonine deficiency is not common. However, vegans may want to consider a supplement since threonine is most common in meats.

Standard Doses

The usual dose of lysine is 500 to 1000 milligrams (mg) per day. However, it is safe to take up to 6 grams per day, as those with herpes do to control their symptoms. The standard dose of threonine is between 103 and 500 mg per day. Higher doses than this can be toxic to your body by disrupting liver function.

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