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Evidence does not suggest that lysine, an essential amino acid, has any effect on blood pressure — at least not directly. It may, however, improve cholesterol levels. High cholesterol can narrow arteries, which often increases the risk of high blood pressure as well as other cardiovascular conditions, such as heart disease, angina, heart attack and stroke. Therefore, taking a supplement containing lysine may be of some benefit but talk to your doctor before doing so.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
A study published in the January 1983 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” shows that lysine increases carnitine levels in the blood. After given 5 grams of lysine orally, participants experienced an increase in plasma carnitine in as little as six hours. Levels continued to rise for a total of 48 hours. Carnitine converts fatty acids into energy, which may prove beneficial for lowering blood cholesterol, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1.
- A study published in the January 1983 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” shows that lysine increases carnitine levels in the blood.
- Carnitine converts fatty acids into energy, which may prove beneficial for lowering blood cholesterol, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1.
Which Amino Acids Help Clean Arteries?
Another study published in the December 2008 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” supports the university’s claim, indicating carnitine promotes significant improvements in low-density lipoprotein levels. It appears this nutrient had the most impact on oxidized LDL levels, reducing numbers by over 15. Oxidized low-density lipoproteins increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. If lysine increases the plasma levels of carnitine, it stands to reason that it should also be of some benefit on cholesterol.
- Another study published in the December 2008 “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” supports the university’s claim, indicating carnitine promotes significant improvements in low-density lipoprotein levels.
- It appears this nutrient had the most impact on oxidized LDL levels, reducing numbers by over 15.
Although it doesn’t have a direct impact on blood pressure, the effect that lysine has on cholesterol could help eliminate at least one factor known to contribute to high blood pressure. If, however, high blood pressure isn’t a result of elevated cholesterol levels, this supplement won’t likely be of assistance. Instead, other methods are necessary to reduce blood pressure, such as reducing sodium intake to no more that 1,500 milligrams, losing weight or increasing your level of physical activity.
Lysine Overdose Symptoms
The recommended daily intake of lysine is primarily based on your weight. Therapeutic dosages are often set at 12 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The more you weigh, the more lysine you will need to take. Talk to your doctor to best establish your dosage. Too much of this amino acid has been linked to an increased risk of gallstones and renal failure.
- The recommended daily intake of lysine is primarily based on your weight.
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Lysine Overdose Symptoms
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Lysine & Leucine
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Lysine; April 2011
- MedlinePlus: Hypertension
- Singh M., Rao D.M., Pande S., Battu S., Mahalakshmi K., Dutt K.R., Ramesh M. Medicinal uses of l-lysine: past and future. Int. J. Res. Pharm. Sci. 2011;2:637–642
- Mailoo VJ, Rampes S. Lysine for herpes simplex prophylaxis: a review of the evidence. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2017;16(3):42-46.
- DiGiovanna JJ, Blank H. Failure of lysine in frequently recurrent herpes simplex infection. Treatment and prophylaxis. Arch Dermatol. 1984 Jan;120(1):48-51.
- Chi CC, Wang SH, Delamere FM, Wojnarowska F, Peters MC, Kanjirath PP. Interventions for prevention of herpes simplex labialis (cold sores on the lips). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; 8):CD010095. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010095.pub2
- Singh BB, Udani J, Vinjamury SP, et al. Safety and effectiveness of an L-lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of facial and circumoral herpes. Altern Med Rev. 2005;10(2):123-7.
- Lakhan SE, Vieira KF. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutr J. 2010;9:42. doi: 0.1186/1475-2891-9-42
- Fini M, Torricelli P, Giavaresi G, Carpi A, Nicolini A, Giardino R. Effect of L-lysine and L-arginine on primary osteoblast cultures from normal and osteopenic rats. Biomed Pharmacother. 2001 May;55(4):213-20. doi:10.1016/s0753-3322(01)00054-3
- Leinonen I, Iannetta PPM, Rees RM, Russell W, Watson C, Barnes AP. Lysine supply is a critical factor in achieving sustainable global protein economy. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 2019;3. doi:10.3389/fsufs.2019.00027
- Akabas SR, Vannice G, Atwater JB, Cooperman T, Cotter R, Thomas L. Quality Certification Programs for Dietary Supplements. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116(9):1370-1379. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.11.003
- Civitelli R, Villareal DT, Agnusdei D, Nardi P, Avioli LV, Gennari C. "Dietary L-lysine and calcium metabolism in humans." Nutrition. 1992 Nov-Dec;8(6):400-5.
- Shaheen E Lakhan, Karen F Vieira. "Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review." Nutrition Journal. October 2010. 9:42doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-42. 7.
- Smriga M, Ando T, Akutsu M, Furukawa Y, Miwa K, Morinaga Y. "Oral treatment with L-lysine and L-arginine reduces anxiety and basal cortisol levels in healthy humans." Biomed Res. 2007 Apr;28(2):85-90.
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.