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L-Lysine: More Than A Herpes-Fighting Agent

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For many years, people have associated lysine with its ability to treat the herpes virus. While it is true that this amino acid is a potent virus-fighting agent, it also delivers a handful of other benefits.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at how l-lysine plays a crucial role in various functions in your body and why you might want to consider supplementing it in your diet.

L-Lysine at a Glance

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L-Lysine is the form of the essential amino acid Lysine that the body easily absorbs and uses for protein synthesis. It was first discovered in 1889 by Dreschel when he isolated the amino acid from casein.

It is commonly used to treat the herpes virus and to ease discomfort caused by cold sores. The body also uses lysine to build proteins that are critical for growth and development, disease prevention, and maintenance of bones and connective tissues. 

Since it is an essential amino acid, your body cannot produce it on its own. You need to consume foods that are rich in lysine including lean bead and lamb, parmesan cheese, turkey and chicken, pork, roasted soybeans, tuna, shrimp, pumpkin seeds, eggs, and white beans.

Role of L-Lysine in the Body

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As a natural disease-fighting agent and a building block of protein, it plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. Apart from fighting the herpes simplex virus and protein synthesis, this amino acid is also a critical part of several biological functions. 

It aids in crosslinking collagen polypeptides as well as in the uptake of mineral nutrients. When combined with vitamin C, l-lysine also produces carnitine, a compound responsible for fatty acid metabolism and cholesterol reduction. The body also uses lysine to produce certain enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.

L-Lysine Benefits

  • Lysine has shown to improve calcium absorption and retention in the body. This can result in healthier bones, reduced calcium loss, and reduced risk for calcium build up in the blood vessels.
  • It is traditionally used to treat cold sores or fluid-filled blisters that often appear on the corners of the mouth, caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 virus.
  • It can reduce anxiety when used in conjunction with arginine. Research has shown that supplementing with lysine can help reduce cortisol levels and anxiety scores in healthy humans.
  • Since Lysine is crucial in the formation of collagen, supplementing with this amino acid can help promote wound healing and speed up the healing process. 
  • A form of L-lysine called poly-L-lysine was found to have anti-inflammatory effects in the lining of the stomach. While it needs further research, current studies claim that it can help prevent the leaky gut syndrome.

Dosage Recommendations

The average person needs a daily dose of 800 mg to 3,000 mg of L-Lysine per day. While you can easily source this amino acid from the food you eat, you can still take a dietary supplement if you aren’t able to meet your daily value recommendations. 

Meanwhile, for the purpose of herpes and cold sores treatment, the commonly recommended dosage is between 1000 mg to 3000 mg of l-lysine.

Safety Considerations

Taking lysine through your diet is considered safe and free from side effects. However, excessive intake of this amino acid through supplements may have some minor side effects including stomach pain and diarrhea.

People with kidney and liver issues should also consult with a healthcare professional before taking lysine supplements. Meanwhile, pregnant women should avoid taking l-lysine supplements.

FDA still finding same cGMP deficiencies at dietary supplement facilities

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FDA investigators who inspect dietary supplement manufacturing facilities for compliance with cGMPs (current good manufacturing practices) are still often finding the same deficiencies more than a decade after the regulations were adopted.

In fiscal year 2018 (FY18), 75 inspections—or about 24 percent of firms that received a Form 483 inspection report for “observations,” or alleged cGMP violations—were cited for failing to establish product specifications for the identity, purity, strength and composition of the finished dietary supplement, FDA data revealed. This was the most common cGMP observation in FY18 year as well as in FY17 when 24 percent of firms (89 inspections) were cited for the same infraction, according to FDA data INSIDER obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Over the years, FDA has repeatedly emphasized the importance of setting and following specifications for the identity and other key attributes of a dietary supplement. Without doing so, FDA and outside cGMP consultants have said, manufacturers have no reliable way to know and verify what is in their products.

Nearly half (274 inspections, or 46 percent) of the 591 inspections in FY18 didn’t receive a Form 483, which suggests those dietary supplement manufacturing facilities are fully compliant with the cGMPs.

Warning Letters

There may be another silver lining. Data analyzed by the Natural Products Association(NPA) suggested an increasing number of firms cited in Form 483s for failing to establish product specs make the necessary corrections without requiring an admonishment from FDA in a subsequent warning letter.

NPA, a trade association founded in 1936 and led by former FDA officials, reviewed FDA warning letters to analyze alleged infractions of the cGMPs.

In reviewing the data dating back to 2010, NPA identified a change in the most cited cGMP violation. Through the first nine months of 2018, FDA most commonly cited dietary supplement firms in warning letters for failing to establish and follow written procedures for the responsibilities of quality control operations. In FY18 Form 483s, the latter cGMP infraction was the second most cited cGMP observation (52 inspections, representing around 16 percent of all Form 483s).

In the previous three years, the most common cGMP violation reported in FDA warning letters was related to specifications to establish when devising a production and process control system, NPA reported this week in a chart within a news release. The above infraction dropped to the third most-cited cGMP violation in 2018 warning letters, while the second most commonly cited infraction related to recordkeeping requirements for production and process control systems.

Read The Full Article HERE

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