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Basics of L Lysine

L-Lysine, more commonly known simply as lysine, is an essential amino acid that plays a very significant role in biological-function for all lifeforms. Being an essential amino acid, animals are incapable of synthesizing the compound by themselves, and must consume the amino acid from other sources, such as plants or bacteria. Plants and bacteria in turn are capable of synthesizing lysine from aspartic acid. Lysine is one of three basic amino acids, along with arginine and histidine. Chemically, it is characterized by an R-group that consists of four methylene (CH2) molecules bonded together in a chain and capped off with an NH2 amine group at the end. For humans, the amount of lysine that must be consumed daily to maintain healthy bodily function varies with age. For infants up to four months old, 103 milligrams per kilogram of body weight is required. For children up to two years of age, 64 milligrams are required, and for children up to 12 years of age, a range between 44 to 60 milligrams are needed. In adults, the need for lysine dramatically diminishes, decreasing to a mere 12 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Many common foods are rich in lysine, and lysine deficiency is consequently uncommon. Milk, eggs, catfish, soybeans, and beef are all rich sources of lysine, with anywhere between 7 and 10% of their protein consisting solely of lysine.


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