L-lysine is one of eight essential amino acids and is one of the building blocks of protein. It is important for good health. However, since it is an amino acid, the body is not able to produce it naturally. L-lysine must be introduced into the body through food or supplements. There are many foods rich in L-lysine that should be included in the daily diet
L-lysine aids in physical development. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, it plays a crucial role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol.
L-lysine is beneficial in helping the body absorb and conserve calcium. It also helps the body form collagen, which is required for healthy bones, tendons, cartilage, and skin.
Choose foods that are high in protein for the best choice of L-lysine foods. Red meat has the highest L-lysine content, but pork and poultry also contain lysine. Parmesan cheese contains a beneficial amount of L-lysine. Other foods high in L-lysine include cod, sardines, nuts, eggs, soybeans, tofu, soy flour and fenugreek seeds.
Foods to Avoid
There are some foods that can inhibit L-lysine absorption. Many baked goods make it difficult for the body to absorb the necessary L-lysine. Food such as cakes, donuts, cookies and some grain should be avoided, especially if you suffer from an L-lysine deficiency. A diet high in these and similar simple sugars can prevent you from reaping the full benefits of L-lysine.
L-lysine deficiency is not a very common problem, but people who are extremely athletic or strict vegetarians may find that they have this condition. Signs of L-lysine deficiency include kidney stones, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, agitation, bloodshot eyes, prevented growth, anemia and reproductive disorders. It is important to talk with a doctor about any of these signs are apparent before taking an L-lysine supplement.
Athletes low in L-lysine should add additional sources of meat protein in their diet if they find that they are L-lysine deficient. Vegetarians should add legumes such as beans, peas, lentils and soy in their diet to increase L-lysine intake.
Eating foods rich in L-lysine may help relieve several conditions, but take an L-lysine supplement may provide more relief for these conditions. L-lysine may be beneficial in the treatment of herpes, shingles, osteoporosis, inflammation, episiotomy pain, migraine relief and painful periods.