Lysine – An Amino Acid with Anxiolytic and Stress Relief Properties
While living in the 21st century brings many advantages, modern life is also stressful and high-paced. Demanding jobs, frequent commuting, and not having much time to relax lead to stress. You start being too sensitive and anxious about small things. That puts you in danger of developing an anxiety disorder.
If you noticed anxiousness, depression-like symptoms, or you want to relax because you are under constant stress, supplements can help. Many natural solutions aimed at relieving anxiety contain lysine as one of the ingredients. In this article, we are trying to discover if that is justified. Here is what the science says about lysine and its benefits for physical health and wellness.
What is Lysine?
Lysine belongs to the group of essential amino acids. However, the human organism is unable to produce this substance itself. That means you need to ingest it from food sources. The most abundant sources of lysine include fish like salmon, halibut, and tuna. You can also consider chicken, pork, ricotta, and cheddar cheese, as well as yogurt and milk.
The alternative is obtaining lysine from supplements. According to experts, the requirement of lysine changes depending on age. The estimation is that the average intake of an adult through diets is 40 to 180mg/(kgxd). According to the same source, the upper limit is set to 300-400 milligrams. Food supplements usually contain around 100 milligrams, which should secure the optimal effectiveness of this amino acid.
Research Study 1 (Lysine & Stress & Anxiety)
Lysine deficiency can lead to symptoms that remind of stress and anxiety. That is why lysine supplementation could assist in getting the levels of this amino acid in balance.
A study conducted in Japan in 2007 discussed whether oral administration of lysine could decrease cortisol production and provide anxiety relief.
Cortisol is famous as a hormone that induces stress in humans. That is why the researches wanted to see if amino acid treatment can assist in normalizing the response of the human body to stress. The scientists asked the participant to take a mixture of arginine and lysine for seven days.
The participants were both male and female, and they both reported reduced stress and anxiety.
The male subjects had lower levels of cortisol in their saliva. The researchers conclude that lysine and arginine could work together to assist healthy adults in dealing with self-reported anxiety and stress.
Research Study 2 (Lysine & Anxiety)
A different study published in 2004 focused on communities that are not strong economically. The researchers considered lysine levels in chosen participants in Northwest Syria. They fortified wheat with lysine to see its effects during a three-month-long study.
The scientists tested stress responses and concluded that fortifying cereal diets with lysine could improve them. The results showed a considerably lower level of trait anxiety inventory in men and reduced blood-drawing cortisol response in women participants.
Research Study 3 (Lysine & Anxiety)
A systematic review conducted in 2010 also indicates that a combination of arginine and lysine could be helpful in managing anxiety.
The same review notes the effectiveness of other herbal compounds, such as passionflower. The suggestion is that a supplement that combines these ingredients could assist with anxiety disorders and symptoms related to it.
Research Study 4 (Lysine & Anxiety)
A study published in 2003 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA involves rats as animal subjects. The animals used them for measuring the effectiveness of lysine and its role in managing anxiety.
According to the results, increasing regular lysine intake could prove helpful in dealing with anxiety. That is especially true for those feeling anxious due to everyday stress.
It is worth noting that lysine could also play a role in decreasing diarrhea and other GI problems caused by anxiety.
Research Study 5 (Lysine & Psychopathology)
As for other psychological disorders, schizophrenia is another medical condition where lysine could play a helpful role.
A study from 2014 discussed its role as add-on treatment besides risperidone. the trial lasted for eight weeks and included 72 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The conclusion is that lysine is capable of boosting general and negative symptoms of psychopathology in those dealing with this medical condition.
Research Study 6 (Lysine & Mental Health)
Another research brought the scientists to a similar conclusion. They focused on using lysine as an adjunct treatment to antipsychotic drugs.
Although only ten patients participated in the study, it confirmed that this amino acid is safe and well-tolerated by schizophrenia patients. Additionally, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale showed significant improvements in three patients.
Research Study 7 (Lysine & Anxiety)
The Journal of Nutrition discussed the importance of optimal lysine intake. The conclusion that insufficient intake of this amino acid could boost anxiety caused by stress.
The researchers explain that lysine deficiency interferes with normal serotonin release. That modifies how the human body and brain react to stress.
Research Study 8 (Lysine & Anxiety)
A study that focused on prolonged treatment with lysine and arginine was published in 2013. The researchers used male rats who were given a combination of these amino acids.
The animals received 200 milligrams of lysine twice per day for four days in a row. The scientists picked an elevated plus-maze test to measure the levels of anxiety induced by stress.
According to the results, lysine can assist in managing anxiety when combined with arginine. Although it is an animal study, the results are encouraging.