LYSINE

by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

March 2014, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.

 

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

 

            Lysine is an essential amino acid in animals and in humans.  This means it cannot be produced within the body, in most cases, so it must be obtained from our food.  Foods rich in lysine are meats, especially chicken and beef, lentils and other legumes, and some sprouts.

Lysine has many roles in the body in assisting with growth, the nervous system and other roles described below.  In nutritional balancing science at this time, it is only used as a supplement in human beings in some cases of four lows pattern.

 

WHY IS LYSINE USED WITH FOUR LOWS PATTERN?

 

            Several actions of lysine may explain its beneficial role in combating a four lows pattern:

 

1. Calcium absorption and retention.  Lysine is known to help absorb and retain calcium in the body.  This is essential to overcome a four lows pattern.

 

2. Anti-cancer effects.  Lysine has been shown in some studies to help cause apoptosis or destruction of cancer cells.  Most everyone with a four lows pattern has some cancer in the body, and reducing it may speed recovery from four lows significantly.

 

3. Anxiolytic properties.  Lysine has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system.  It has properties of opposing serotonin, and it appears to help rest the adrenals, one of the important goals of a four lows nutritional balancing program.

 

4. Enhanced cellular energy production. Lysine is metabolized in mammals to produce acetyl-CoA, via an initial transamination with α-ketoglutarate.  Acetyl-CoA is one of the initial steps in the Krebs or carboxylic acid cycle used in all mammalian bodies to produce energy.

 

5. Collagen and elastin formation. Allysine is a derivative of lysine, used in the production of elastin and collagen.  It is produced by the actions of the enzyme lysyl oxidase on lysine in the extracellular matrix and is essential in the crosslink formation that stabilizes collagen and elastin.

This may not sound important to overcome a four lows pattern.  However, it is helpful because, in all cases, a person with a four lows pattern has copper toxicity.  Copper excess damages all connective tissue in the body and this impairs health in many ways.  The support provided by extra lysine helps rebuild this essential connective tissue in the body.

 

6. Alkalinizing (slight).  Lysine is called a basic or somewhat alkaline-forming amino acid.  Those in four lows pattern tend to have more acidic body chemistries, so this property of lysine may be helpful to balance their body chemistry in terms of alkalinity and acidity.

 

7. Recovery.  Lysine has been shown to help patients recover faster from injuries and surgery.

 

8. Immune support.  In chickens, a lysine deficiency impairs the immune response.

 

9. General rebuilding of the body.  Lysine plays important roles in enhancing the body's production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.

 

WHY NOT GIVE EVERYONE A LYSINE SUPPLEMENT?

 

            First, because it is not needed if a person follows the nutritional balancing diets that include many cooked vegetables, meats, some whole grains and perhaps some lentils or other legumes.

            A second and very important reason is that lysine supplements, as with ALL amino acid supplements, are quite yin.  This can easily unbalance the body and make things worse, even though lysine has many benefits. 

Lysine is yin due to its nature, and because L-lysine is usually manufactured by a fermentation process using Corynebacterium glutamicum.  Production of lysine exceeds 600,000 tons a year because it is widely used in animal feed to allow farmers to feed corn to chickens and pigs.  Corn is low in lysine.[7]

 

WHAT ARE GOOD FOOD SOURCES OF LYSINE?       

 

Good sources of lysine are high-protein foods such as eggs, meats (specifically red meat, lamb and poultry), beans and peas, cheese (particularly Parmesan), and certain fish (such as sardines).  Others are milk, pumpkin seeds, amaranth and quinoa.

Blue corn, but not white or yellow corn, is also a fairly good source.  White and yellow corn tend to be low in lysine.  This is why when eating these corn products, some authors recommend eating beans of some kind along with them to obtain complete proteins.  Examples are eating tortillas with beans, rice with dahl or lentils, pita bread with hummus or falafel, and other similar combinations eaten around the world.

 

CLINICAL STUDIES OF LYSINE

 

Some studies have found that lysine may be beneficial for those with herpes simplex infections.[33] One small randomized, controlled study found that it reduced outbreaks by 2.4 per year.[34]

Lysine has a known anxiolytic action through its effects on serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract. One study on rats[35] showed that overstimulation of the 5-HT4 receptors in the gut are associated with anxiety-induced intestinal pathology. Lysine, acting as a serotonin antagonist and therefore reducing the overactivity of these receptors, reduced signs of anxiety and anxiety-induced diarrhea in the sample population.

Another study showed that lysine deficiency leads to a pathological increase in serotonin in the amygdala, a brain structure that is involved in emotional regulation and the stress response.[36] Human studies have also shown correlations between reduced lysine intake and anxiety. A population-based study in Syria included 93 families whose diet is primarily grain-based and therefore likely to be deficient in lysine.

Fortification of grains with lysine was shown to reduce markers of anxiety, including cortisol levels, and also led to potentiation of benzodiazepine receptors (common targets of anxiolytic drugs such as Xanax and Ativan).[37] (Note that all of these studies were funded by Ajinomoto, Co. Inc., an industrial manufacturer of lysine.)

Lysine deficiency causes immunodeficiency in chickens.[39] One cause of relative lysine deficiency is cystinuria, where there is impaired hepatic resorption of basic, or positively charged amino acids, including lysine. The accompanying urinary cysteine results because the same deficient amino acid transporter is normally present in the kidney as well.

Limited studies suggest that a high-lysine diet or L-lysine monochloride supplements may have a moderating effect on blood pressure and the incidence of stroke.[40]

 

REFERENCES

1.    IUPAC-IUBMB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature. "Nomenclature and Symbolism for Amino Acids and Peptides". Recommendations on Organic & Biochemical Nomenclature, Symbols & Terminology etc. Retrieved 2007-05-17.

2.    Lysine. The Biology Project, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona.

3.    Lysine biosynthesis and catabolism, Purdue University

4.    Nelson, D. L.; Cox, M. M. "Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry" 3rd Ed. Worth Publishing: New York, 2000. ISBN 1-57259-153-6.

5.    Braun, J. V. "Synthese des inaktiven Lysins aus Piperidin" Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft 1909, Volume 42, p 839-846. doi:10.1002/cber.190904201134.

6.    Eck, J. C.; Marvel, C. S. "dl-Lysine Hydrochlorides" Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 2, p.374 (1943). http://www.orgsyn.org/orgsyn/pdfs/CV2P0374.pdf

7.    Pfefferle, W.; Mckel, B.; Bathe, B.; Marx, A. (2003). "Biotechnological manufacture of lysine". Advances in biochemical engineering/biotechnology. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 79: 59–112. doi:10.1007/3-540-45989-8_3. ISBN 978-3-540-43383-5. PMID 12523389edit

8.    United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization: Agriculture and Consumer Protection. "Energy and protein requirements: 5.6 Requirements for essential amino acids". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

9.    FAO/WHO/UNU (2007). "PROTEIN AND AMINO ACID REQUIREMENTS IN HUMAN NUTRITION". WHO Press., page 150-152.

10.                               University of Maryland Medical Center. "Lysine". Retrieved 2009-12-30.

11.                               Young VR, Pellett PL (1994). "Plant proteins in relation to human protein and amino acid nutrition" (PDF). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59 (5 Suppl): 1203S–1212S. PMID 8172124.

12.                               Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. "Dietary Reference Intakes for Macronutrients". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

13.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, catfish farmed". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

14.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, chicken roasting meat skin". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

15.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, beef ground 90 10 cooked". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

16.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, soybean seeds". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

17.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, soybeans sprouted". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

18.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, winged bean seeds". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

19.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, lentils". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

20.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, lentils sprouted". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

21.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, parmesan cheese". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

22.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, adzuki bean". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

23.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, milk nonfat". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

24.                               title=Nutrition Data url=http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3066/2

25.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, egg whole". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

26.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, pea split". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

27.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, kidney bean". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

28.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, chickpea". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

29.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, navy bean". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

30.                               Helena Kloosterman; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. "Essential Amino Acids Search, amaranth". Retrieved 2010-10-10.

31.                               Oelke, E.A.; Putnam, D.H.; Teynor, T.M.; Oplinger, E.S. "Quinoa". Alternative Field Crops Manual. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. Retrieved 11 September 2012.

32.                               Sadoul K, Boyault C, Pabion M, Khochbin S (February 2008). "Regulation of protein turnover by acetyltransferases and deacetylases". Biochimie 90 (2): 306–12. doi:10.1016/j.biochi.2007.06.009. PMID 17681659.

33.                               Griffith RS, Norins AL, Kagan C. (1978). "A multicentered study of lysine therapy in Herpes simplex infection". Dermatologica 156 (5): 257–267. doi:10.1159/000250926. PMID 640102.

34.                               St Pierre SA, Bartlett BL, Schlosser BJ (2009). "Practical management measures for patients with recurrent herpes labialis". Skin Therapy Lett. 14 (8): 1–3. PMID 20054504.

35.                               Smriga and Torii; Torii, K (2003). "l-Lysine acts like a partial serotonin receptor 4 antagonist and inhibits serotonin-mediated intestinal pathologies and anxiety in rats". PNAS 100 (26): 15370–5. doi:10.1073/pnas.2436556100. PMC 307574. PMID 14676321.

36.                               Smriga, Kameishi, Uneyama, and Torii (December 2002). "Dietary L-Lysine Deficiency Increases Stress-Induced Anxiety and Fecal Excretion in Rats". The Journal of Nutrition 132 (12): 3744–6. PMID 12468617.

37.                               Smriga, Ghosh, Mouneimne, Pellett, and Scrimshaw (May 2004). "Lysine fortification reduces anxiety and lessens stress in family members in economically weak communities in Northwest Syria". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (22): 8285–8288. doi:10.1073/pnas.0402550101.

38.                               ScienceDaily. "Chemists Kill Cancer Cells With Light-activated Molecules". Retrieved 2008-01-24.

39.                               Chen C, Sander JE, Dale NM (2003). "The effect of dietary lysine deficiency on the immune response to Newcastle disease vaccination in chickens". Avian Dis. 47 (4): 1346–51. doi:10.1637/7008. PMID 14708981.

40.                               Flodin 1997[clarification needed]

41.                               "Norwegian granted for improving lysine production process"

42.                               Toride Y. "Lysine and other amino acids for feed: production and contribution to protein utilization in animal feeding". Retrieved 2011-01-25.

43.                               Abelson, Philip (March 1999). "A Potential Phosphate Crisis". Science 283 (5410): 2015. doi:10.1126/science.283.5410.2015.

44.                               Coyne, Jerry A. (October 10, 1999). "The Truth Is Way Out There". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-06.

45.                               Connor, J.M.; "Global Price Fixing" 2nd Ed. Springer-Verlag: Heidelberg, 2008. ISBN 978-3-540-78669-6.

46.                               Eichenwald, Kurt.; "The Informant: a true story" Broadway Books: New York, 2000. ISBN 0-7679-0326-9.

 

Sources

              Much of the information in this article has been translated from German Wikipedia.

              Lide, D. R., ed. (2002). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (83rd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-0483-0.

 

 

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