Lysine Side Effects

Lysine is an essential amino acid found in food and supplements that is important for body growth. It is crucial for helping the body to produce energy, lower its cholesterol levels, aid to collagen formation for the skin, cartilage and tendons. As it cannot be produced in the body, it should be obtained from the daily diet. Its deficiency in the body causes loss of appetite, fatigue, slow growth, anemia, nausea, fatigues, bloodshot eyes and reproductive disorders. It is available in form of food supplements, which are prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Lysine Side Effects

Despite its benefits, lysine has a number of negative effects. It should be taken in the recommended amounts in order to avoid health risks. Lysine supplement is not recommended for people with health conditions because it has not been approved by the FDA. It cannot be used as a treatment for diseases because it has risk factors and side effects that cannot be ignored. One reason why it should be used cautiously is that it is still under survey. There is a request for people to report its side effects to the US Food and Drug Administration center for further research into its effects.

1. Allergic Reactions

An excessive intake of lysine causes allergic reactions. Although the allergies differ from person to person, patients will often experience swellings around the face, lips and tongue. It also causes blocking of the throat, and difficulties in breathing.

2. Interaction with Antibiotics

Lysine is not to be mixed with other drugs unless recommended by a doctor. Antibiotics such as gentamicin, tobracin, netilmicin, neomycin, amikacin, kanamycin, streptomycin and tobramycin react with lysine causing adverse effects. These can cause body toxins and can be lethal. It is important to take the supplements under strict medical guidance.

3. Causing Health Disorders

The over consumption of lysine prevents proper blood circulation, and it hardens the arteries. This can cause serious medical conditions like heart attack, cardiovascular complications and stroke. Lysine is responsible for hardening of arteries; it also causes stomach cramps, diarrhea and gall stones. Anyone with any medical conditions needs to seek medical advice before using lysine. It is forbidden for people with heart, kidney, and liver conditions. Expectant women and nursing mothers are also cautioned against taking lysine since its negative effects are unclear.

4. Heavy Metals

These amino acids have been found to contain heavy metals, which are harmful to your health. These can cause death as a result of poisoning. Since there is no regulatory standard against the manufacture of lysine, caution should be taken when using it. In case of an overdose, immediate medical treatment should be sought.

Lysine Rich Foods

Lysine is an amino acid which is obtained from eating foods that are lysine rich. The product is found in common foods that are easily available in the daily diet. Although there are dangers associated with taking lysine food supplements, people with high levels of lysine need to avoid lysine enriched foods. These foods can be classified into the following groups:



Dairy and Eggs

High consumption of yoghurt, cheese, milk, brewer’s yeast, and eggs is not recommended.

Fish and Meat

Foods such as red meat, cods, sardines, pork, chicken, lamb, and turkey should be limited.


Although fruits are important for the health of the body, daily consumption of foods high in lysine is discouraged. These include pears, mango, peaches, papaya, figs, beets, peaches, apricots, tomatoes, avocadoes and pumpkins.


Vegetables such as parsley, celery and potatoes also contain high amounts of lysine.


Some of the legumes to watch out for include peas, soy products, and Lima beans.

Seeds and Nuts

Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts are to be taken in moderation. It is also crucial to avoid certain seeds like fenugreek.

Lysine Dosage and Cautions

Lysine supplements are often used in treatment of lysine deficiency and other medical conditions. It should be prescribed by a doctor because self diagnosis is risky and could lead to over use of the supplement. Since most people obtain lysine form their usual diet, it is not necessary to take the supplement. However, it may be prescribed for health conditions and lysine deficiency symptoms. The medically diagnosed conditions can warrant the consumption of lysine supplements. These could be in the form of tablets, syrups, capsules or creams.

The prescription is often done in different doses and, therefore, should not be taken as a single dose. A medical practitioner will accurately diagnose the deficiency level of Lysine to prescribe the right amounts. There are proper doses for adults, children and people with medical conditions.

When taken as a dietary supplement, it is important to use it under medical supervision. This is because caution is needed when taking other drugs since lysine tends to react with antibiotics and other drugs. Excess supplements in a diet mixed with other drugs could be dangerous. A toxic intake of Lysine and arginine mixed together causes infertility in men. In common cases, an overdose of 10g of lysine could cause bloody diarrhea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps among others.

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