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Lysine

Lysine or L-lysine is an amino acid which is widely administered as therapeutic agent for many medical conditions. It is an essential amino acid which the human body cannot synthesize. Lysine plays a significant role in growth and metabolism. Typically an adult requires 800 to 3,000 mg of lysine daily. It is available extensively in food sources such as beef, pork, parmesan cheese, sardines and cod liver. The other sources include legumes, soy, spirulina, fenugreek seeds and nuts.


Lysine has many uses as it is predominantly involved with the growth and development in the formative tissues and their respective repair mechanism. Lysine helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level through the production of carnitine as chief component which utilizes cholesterol for the generation of energy required for the metabolic activities. Inadequate lysine can result in loss of appetite, anemia, reproductive disorders and agitation.


The other metabolic associations of lysine is the formation of collagen and also tendons pertaining to muscle tissues. It helps in maintaining the dexterity of the muscles. Lysine can be administered the treatment of cold sores caused by Herpes simplex virus. Hence, it is being widely used to treat genital herpes and other forms of lesions associated with herpes. Lysine has the unique ability to absorb calcium and hence it prevents conditions such as osteoporosis. It enables calcium absorption by preventing the urinary loss of calcium.

Side effects pertaining to lysine are only applicable to overdose. Patients who have complaints of kidney disease or liver disease should consult physician before the administration of lysine supplements. Excess administration of lysine may lead to gallstones and pregnant women are not recommended to use lysine supplements.

L carnitine

L carnitine is an amino acid naturally synthesized by the body from amino acids - Lysine and methionine. This amino acid is found mostly in red meats and in smaller quantities in diary products. As L carnitine is similar to another amino acid Carnitine which plays a major role in energy metabolism. The body produces carnitine in the liver and kidneys and stores it in the skeletal muscles, heart, brain and sperm. Deficiency in these amino acids can manifest as general apathy, fatigue, muscle weakness, decreased tolerance to metabolic stress, and cardiomyopathy.


Symptoms of fatigue and general prognosis improved significantly in those patients who received oral L-carnitine supplementation. L carnitine's action of facilitating the transport of fatty acids is useful in preventing a buildup of amyloid plaque that damages brain tissues. Supplements of L carnitine has helped in some studies, to improve sperm mobility in men with poorly active sperm, a condition known as asthenozoospermia. Some laboratory studies have indicated the beneficial effects of L-carnitine supplements in counteracting the toxic effects of AZT, a drug for the treatment of HIV - human immuno deficiency virus and acquired immuno deficiency syndrome. Cartinine and L-Cartinine are thought to improve some of the following conditions:


  • Heart Disease - As Cartinine helps to improve the overall energy levels, the patients have a better sustained physical activities after suitable medications combined with supplements.
  • High Cholesterol - Patients with elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides reported a significant lowering.
  • Intermittent Claudication - Patients with Deficiency in blood circulation in the peripheral regions ( peripheral vascular disease PVD ) reported better muscle functions after taking supplements.
  • Fatty Liver - Alcohol induced fatty buildup in the liver has been reversed and even prevented in some studies.
  • Down's Syndrome - In patients afflicted with this disease, significant improvement in visual memory and attention span was noted after supplements.
  • Male Infertility - supplementation may increase sperm count and Sperm mobility.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are building blocks of protein and hence muscle tissue. Amino Acids are organic compounds consisting of an amino group and an acidic carboxyl group. They command the energy we have, the speed of recovery, weight loss and memory functions of the brain. Amino acids are critical for repairing organs, muscles, nails, skin, hair, ligaments and glands. It is amino acids that facilitate effective functioning of vitamins and minerals and maintaining metabolic activity.


The specific characteristics of each amino acid is derived from its side chain that lends it a unique role in a protein structure. The 20 amino acids are further classified as essential and non-essential amino acids.


Essential amino acids are those that cannot be made by the body and hence must be obtained from food.


  1. Arginine
  2. Isoleucine
  3. Histidine
  4. Leucine
  5. Methionine
  6. Lysine
  7. Phenylalanine
  8. Tryptophan
  9. Threonine
  10. Valine

Non-Essential Amino Acids are those that can be produced by the body from other amino acids. They can be synthesized from metabolic intermediates.


  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

There are other Amino acids like Taurine which is an essential conditional amino acid so important for the development of brain tissue as well as being the key part of bile.

Amino Acid Deficiencies : Congenital enzyme deficiencies affecting amino acid metabolism may result in Aminoaciduria - a condition where the patient's urine has abnormal presence of amino acids. A genetic error in metabolizing phenylalanine amino acid causes Phenylketonuria (PKU).

Blood plasma screening tests and urine tests may help to determine the amino acid metabolism disorders such as:

  • Tyrosinosis (metabolic disorder arising out of abnormal plasma L-tyrosine level)
  • Histidinemia (metabolic disorder due to abnormal levels of histidine)
  • Histidinuria (histidine transport deficiency)
  • Hypervalinemia (disorder due to elevated levels of Valine, an amino acid, possibly owing to the deficiency of the enzyme valine transaminase)
  • Hyperprolinemia (elevated blood levels of proline amino acid)
  • Cystinuria (cystine in the urine)
  • Homocystinuria (disorder due to methionine metabolism or Cystathionine Beta Synthase Deficiency)
  • Phenylketonuria.

Tags: #Lysine #L carnitine #Amino Acids
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 19, 2020