L-Lysine: An Amino Acid for Collagen Production

by Melissa Chichester

What amino acid was mentioned in the smash-hit novel and film Jurassic Park? 

If you guessed lysine, you’re right! However, the truth about lysine doesn’t involve dinosaurs but something better: the growth and development of your human body. 

Amino acids are involved in many vital functions, such as the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones. However, they are best known for forming the building blocks of protein needed for growth and development. Protein constructs all major structures in the body, making amino acids an important player in human health.

Each amino acid is categorized as:

  • Conditionally essential: These amino acids are needed during times of stress or illness, or the amino acids may be produced sufficiently for a healthy person.
  • Nonessential: These amino acids can be produced by the human body.
  • Essential: It can’t be made by the body and must be consumed through food or nutritional supplements.

Your body has nine essential amino acids: tryptophan, valine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, and histidine. 

While each one has its own host of benefits, we’re shining the spotlight on some of the surprising roles of lysine (or l-lysine).

>>Shop all lysine supplements

The discovery of lysine 

In 1889, German chemist Ferdinand Heinrich Edmund Drechsel isolated lysine from casein. Casein is a protein found in milk. In 1902, its chemical structure was established. 

>>Check out Liquid Aminos with lysine

Lysine benefits 

Lysine is one of the amino acids found in collagen. Lysine helps produce collagen, which as a supplement supports healthy skin and lips.* Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and connective tissues. It is the most abundant protein in the body.

Lysine is also involved in tissue maintenance.*  Furthermore, taking at least 800mg of lysine may help the body absorb calcium.* 

>>Collagen 101: Supporting Skin and Joint Health

Lysine in foods 

It’s not surprising that high-protein foods are the best sources of lysine. Beans, cod, cheese (especially parmesan cheese), pork, eggs, red meats, and poultry are all sources of lysine. Vegetarian sources of lysine include spirulina, beans, fenugreek, soy milk, and quinoa. Eggs are considered a complete protein and contain all nine of the essential amino acids.

>>Food Sources of the Nine Essential Amino Acids

Lysine supplements 

Like other amino acids, lysine is available as a supplement in several forms, including tablets, powders, and can be taken on its own or combined with other nutrients. It is also available in over-the-counter drug topical creams

>>L-Lysine 1000 mg

One supplement is our Puritan’s Pride® L-Lysine & Zinc supplement, which delivers two key ingredients to provide well-rounded support for your immune system health.* Like lysine, zinc also supports skin health and can also help keep skin clearer and healthier for people with non-cystic acne.* Zinc is a necessary part of the enzyme collagenase, which is involved in the remodeling of collagen, the structural framework of the skin.*

Lysine may be a beneficial addition to your routine, especially if you want to support skin health and calcium absorption.* Always speak to your personal healthcare practitioner before taking any nutritional supplement.