It seems there is no shortage of food plans, supplements, and diets that all claim to have certain benefits. It can make it difficult to choose a healthy diet plan that supports your personal needs and health goals.
You’ve probably heard of diet plans such as Paleo or Keto and Whole 30, to name a few. But have you heard about a high lysine diet?
Lysine does have some beneficial properties and, according to some, may help if your goal is to lose weight. Let’s explore lysine, including what it is and some of its reported benefits.
Lysine actually goes by two names. The other is L-lysine. According to Mount Sinai, lysine is one of the essential amino acids required for good health. Amino acids help create protein, which is necessary for muscle health. Lysine, in particular, is critical for overall development and is essential to make carnitine. Carnitine turns certain acids into energy, and it even brings down cholesterol.
In addition, lysine is reported to aid our bodies in absorbing calcium, which of course, is another critical nutrient for good health. Plus, lysine also helps create collagen, which is critical for bone and connective tissue health. And you may have noticed that collagen is a key ingredient touted in many forms of skincare, especially for mature skin.
In addition to the critical role lysine plays within several of the body’s functions, it carries other potential benefits. For instance, lysine may help prevent outbreaks of cold sores. Note that it won’t ‘cure’ the virus that causes them, but preventing them from occurring is a big benefit.
And because lysine helps us absorb calcium, it has the potential to stop the loss of bone. Losing bone mass happens with osteoporosis. The research hasn’t proven that lysine stops osteoporosis altogether, but studies show some potential. It seems that more research is needed here.
Other studies seem to indicate that athletes may benefit from supplementing with lysine because it may assist in recovery after workouts.
The HCG Institute also notes that lysine might help with losing weight. They state that it increases immunity but that it also helps burn fat. This goes back to lysine’s role in creating carnitine and creating energy.
As you can see, lysine factors into many different processes and systems within the human body. However, lysine isn’t something that our bodies can create for themselves. Instead, Mount Sinai notes that people need to get lysine from what they eat or drink.
People who don’t consume meat, athletes, and people who have experienced severe burns likely require even more lysine than others. A few symptoms of inadequate lysine might include:
If you suspect you might be low in lysine or are experiencing osteoporosis, you may want to look into a diet plan that is high in lysine. Similarly, a high lysine diet might be beneficial in losing weight. With each of these situations, you will want to first consult with your doctor or trusted medical professional before trying out a high lysine diet.
If your doctor approves a high lysine diet for you, you will want to create a diet plan to ensure you’re eating the right foods. Meat is an excellent source of lysine, including beef, pork products, and chicken or turkey.
Codfish and sardines are an additional source of lysine. You may want to incorporate eggs into your diet plan, as they’re another food that’s high in this nutrient.
Yet another lysine-rich food is cheese. Many kinds of cheese do contain lysine, but parmesan is one with higher levels.
There are also non-meat foods that will provide some extra lysine if you prefer to avoid meats. Soybeans are a wonderful way to increase your lysine intake, as are spirulina and fenugreek seeds. Spirulina is a type of algae, while fenugreek is a type of herb. Mount Sinai states that other foods contain lysine as well, including brewer’s yeast.
Lysine is available in a supplement form as well as in various foods. Depending on your conversation with your doctor, you may choose to incorporate supplements into your high lysine diet.
Lysine could interact with other supplements, such as arginine. It may also interact with certain antibiotics.
Since it helps absorb calcium, be sure to talk with your doctor if you decide to try a high lysine diet and you’re taking a calcium supplement. You’ll want to be cautious about taking too much lysine and taking lysine if you have liver or kidney conditions. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, so be sure to let your doctor know about any conditions and supplements.
If you’re hoping to lose weight, possibly prevent bone loss, or suspect you have low lysine levels, you may want to look into a high lysine diet. As always, it’s best to check with your healthcare provider before trying a new diet.
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