Lysine: Improve Your Gut + Brain Health

What is Lysine?

Lysine is an often overlooked amino acid. It is an essential amino acid which means the body needs to get it though food sources because the body is unable to produce it on its own.

Some of its basics functions include:

-Building block for protein

-Gives structure to Collagen

-Helps regulate the body's calcium levels.

It is often found in lip balms to help prevent and treat cold sores but can also be found in food and supplements for other health benefits including:

-May reduce anxiety

-May improve diabetes

-Helps support a healthy gut

Tell me more about the brain and gut?!

Anxiety is something many of us deal with and struggle to manage. Along with eating foods that are rich in B vitamins, Magnesium, and Omega-3 fatty acids, increasing lysine can help in reducing anxiety levels. This is mainly because it helps your body absorb calcium which supports reduction in anxiety and it behaves like a serotonin antagonist (fancy wording for helping prevent anxiety responses).

Now to the gut…

Heard of Leaky gut??

I'm sure you have, as it's an extremely common problem that many of us deal with on a daily basis.

Poly-L-Lysine, is a form of Lysine has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, specifically on the lining of the gut. It has also been found to support the pancreas.

Finally as we all know the gut-brain connection is highly important to overall health and lysine is essential for both!

Bottom Line:

Some foods that are rich in lysine include:

Lean beef


turkey & chicken

roasted soy beans



pumpkin seeds


The average person requires anywhere between 800-3000 mg of lysine per day.

If you are not eating a diet with foods rich in this or other essential amino acids it may be beneficial to supplement.

Here is our favorite lysine supplement!


Lysine is generally considered safe and the most common side effects of supplementation include stomach pain and diarrhea. If you have any major health implications or are pregnant/breastfeeding always consult with a health care professional prior to taking.

Written by staff writer: Nicole Miller, M.S.

Edited by: Jaclyn Jacobsen, M.S., CPT

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