How do I Choose the Best Lysine Supplement?

Angela Crout-Mitchell

There are several factors to consider when choosing the most appropriate lysine supplement for good health, including selecting products offered in the correct dosage amounts and that offer the proper type of lysine. It is also important to understand the effects of lysine on the body and be aware of any potential side effects from taking too much of this essential amino acid. Lysine is used by the body as a building block in protein production and is crucial for overall good health. It is also involved in converting food to energy in the body. Lysine is not produced by the body and must be consumed in food or supplement form.

Bodybuilders may take lysine supplements because they aid in protein production, which is helpful for increasing strength.
Bodybuilders may take lysine supplements because they aid in protein production, which is helpful for increasing strength.

Lysine is to improve overall health, aid in both protein production and energy conversion, and as a treatment for cold sores and herpes outbreaks. When combined with vitamin C, lysine is thought to be an incredibly effective herpes prevention treatment. Due to the amino acid's ability to boost the immune system, it is very effective for preventing and treating these types of lesions. Many people choose lysine supplement products to treat canker sores of the mouth as well. Athletes and bodybuilders often add lysine to their supplement routines because of its well known ability to aid in protein production, which is necessary for increasing muscle density and strength.

Patients should consult with their doctors prior to taking a lysine supplement.
Patients should consult with their doctors prior to taking a lysine supplement.

When choosing an effective lysine supplement, most health care professionals suggest choosing only those products that contain L-form amino acids as opposed to those with D-form acids. Studies have suggested that the body is better able to tolerate and absorb L-form acids. These types of amino acids more closely match the natural human body composition and are considered to be more effective overall. L-form amino acids are also less likely to cause the rare lysine side effects of diarrhea and stomach cramps. Product packaging should contain information regarding the type of amino acid used in manufacturing.

The structure of lysine.
The structure of lysine.

Before beginning any supplement treatment, it is important to consult with a doctor to ensure the treatment is appropriate and safe. He or she is likely to suggest the most therapeutic dosage for each patient as well. It is advised to choose a lysine supplement available in 500 to 1000 mg capsules or tablets. Choosing to take a lysine supplement can reduce the likelihood of nutrition deficiency symptoms such as hair loss, difficulties concentrating, and anemia. As with any herbal or nutritional supplement, if any adverse side effects occur medical experts recommend seeking advice from a doctor or trained medical professional.

Lysine has been used to treat cold sores.
Lysine has been used to treat cold sores.
Lysine supplements should contain L-form amino acids.
Lysine supplements should contain L-form amino acids.

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Discussion Comments


My cardiologist mentioned that taking only l-lysine is good, but he didn't believe that there was any way guarantee the purity since there are no enforceable standards for its production. Is there another form of lysine (other than L) that might be included in a supplement and which might be harmful to humans?


@turquoise-- I spent a lot of money on lysine supplements and it did absolutely nothing for me. I don't think l-lysine has benefits for everyone.

If you want to take it, I suggest purchasing it in bulk because it's a lot cheaper that way. If it doesn't work, at least you won't feel bad about the cost. And you can give the rest to friends and family to try.


@turquoise-- I'm not too sure about acne but it might be worth a try. I know that lysine tablets are a great supplement for herpes. Lysine reduces outbreaks and speeds up healing time by strengthening the immune system. Since acne is a bacterial infection, I'm think lysine will have some benefit.

Depending on what you're taking it for, anywhere from 600mg to 1200mg can be taken daily. I think around 1000mg is more effective. But you might want to start with a low dose of around 600mg and slowly increase it over several weeks.

Also, just listen to your body. If you get results at 600mg, you don't need more. Higher doses of lysine can cause stomach upset in some people.


Do l-lysine supplements have any benefit for acne? If so, how much should I take daily to see results?

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