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Arginine and Lysine

Lysine and arginine are both amino acids that the body uses for various cellular processes. Arginine is active in the liver and circulatory system, and has been shown to help reduce the pain of angina and other cardiac diseases.

The body produces arginine to do the jobs that it does. Lysine is not produced by the body, but the body uses lysine to make many amino acids as well as to help build muscle and absorb calcium.

In combination, lysine and arginine seem to increase the activity of cells which build bone as well as increase production of collagen, which helps the body to heal tissues such as skin and connective tissues. This can be beneficial for people with injuries as well as people who suffer from arthritis. They may also combine to reduce the levels of stress related hormones in the body, lowering anxiety and reducing the negative effects of anxiety on the body.

Foods Rich in Lysine and Arginine

Lysine is found in many common foods that many people consume every day. Nuts, seeds, and nut butters as well as legumes, beans, and leafy green vegetables are all great sources of both lysine and arginine. Eggs, dairy, fish, and some meat also contain lysine and arginine.

Dosage and Taking Lysine and Arginine Together

Combining l-arginine and l-lysine is not recommended, as they are both absorbed using the same type of receptors. This may result in the absorption of less than optimal levels of one or the other amino acid. However, you can take arginine with l-lysine or lysine with l-arginine. The dosage for taking both together is recommended at one to one. Arginine and lysine are both antiviral and seem to help keep us healthy in general, but for some viruses the effect is the opposite. For example, herpes seems to use arginine and taking arginine can increase the occurrence of herpes symptoms. However, lysine is one of the most successful tools used to treat herpes symptoms.

Dosage for lysine is recommended at 12mg per kilogram, per day. However, during a herpes flare up, recommended doses are increased significantly to 3000 to 9000mg per day, divided into a few doses over the course of the day.

Risks, Contraindications, and Side Effects

Lysine as part of a healthy diet is considered very safe, however there are a number of medications that react negatively to high doses of lysine. As a result, if you are taking medications you should check with your doctor before starting to take lysine supplements. Especially avoid taking lysine with antibiotics or if you have kidney or liver disease.

Arginine may increase the symptoms of herpes, asthma, and allergies. You should also stop the use of arginine if you are scheduled for surgery or if you recently had a heart attack. Pregnant and nursing mothers are also advised to avoid arginine, as the effects on unborn and nursing children are not well understood.

Use of arginine has only produced some minor side effects which are reported infrequently. These include stomach ache, bitter taste in the mouth, nausea, and diarrhea. Lysine can also cause stomach ache or diarrhea. Lysine is thought to be safe to take for terms of up to one year, or topically in the short term. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also directed to not take lysine, as the effects are unknown.

Never Hesitate to Talk to a Doctor

If you are considering taking an over the counter supplement to help with any medical condition, it is always a good idea to talk to a doctor. There may be interactions you are unaware of with other medications you are taking, and it is better to be safe than sorry.


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