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Organic Molecule – Lysine.

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Lysine is one of the twenty amino acids that make up natural proteins. Eleven of these amino acids can be made by the human body from other amino acids, while the remaining nine cannot be synthesized by the body they must be derived nutritionally from protein intake - these are the "essential amino acids". Lysine is one of nine essential amino acids and therefore an important molecule as proteins are made up of a melange of most of the amino acids. Formed in plants, algae, and fungi by two distinct biosynthetic pathways (see Figures 1 and 2) it helps maintain growth, lean body mass, tissue repair and the body's store of nitrogen. Lysine is a polar molecule that has a net positive charge at physiological pH values making it one of the three basic (with respect to charge) amino acids. It therefore mostly prefers to substitute for the other positively charged amino acid arginine, though in some circumstances it will also tolerate a change to other polar amino acids. Lysine frequently plays an important role in structure. It can be considered to be somewhat amphipathic as the part of the side chain nearest to the backbone is long, carbon containing and hydrophobic, whereas the end of the side chain is positively charged. ...read more.


Incidentally, vegans whose macrobiotic diets contain large amounts of grains (from corn or maize) and only minimal amounts of beans as a sole source of dietary protein could suffer from a lysine deficiency disease called "pellagra". Athletes involved in frequent vigorous exercise have increased need for essential amino acids, although most diets meet these increased needs. The essential amino acid requirements of burn patients may exceed the amount of lysine in the diet. Lysine is involved in the browning reaction, or carmelization, in foods such as pastries, doughnuts, cookies and cereals. In this process, lysine and sugar become linked together in a way that makes lysine difficult for the body to absorb. As a result, a diet high in cereals and baked goods, especially those that contain a lot of simple sugars, can result in low lysine intake. Low lysine levels have been found in patients with Parkinson's, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, asthma and depression. The exact significance of these levels is unclear, yet lysine therapy can normalize the level and has been associated with improvement of some patients with these conditions. In order for the body to secure lysine levels needed, taking lysine supplements or increasing diet with those foods with higher levels of lysine is encouraged. ...read more.


It would make sense therefore to use the lysine both "topically", as an ointment on the sore, and "systemically" internally to affect the whole system. Anywhere from 60 to 90% of us carry herpes simplex 1, probably as a result of childhood infection, and genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases these days. (Perhaps 20 million people have genital herpes, and one million become infected each year.) Once you have the virus, you have it. It may lie dormant, but it does not go away. Lysine in combination with arginine is used by bodybuilders for the combination's alleged effect of stimulating the release of growth hormone. L-lysine may help prevent glycosylation, the combining of a sugar and protein molecule accelerated by elevated levels of sugar in the blood, which causes some signs of aging. Linus Pauling has provided evidence that it may also help in the prevention of arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the walls of arteries caused by deposits of lipoproteins (fats). Lysine may be capable of loosening and preventing such deposits, therefore keeping artery walls flexible. Thus, there is less susceptibility for hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a major factor in coronary heart disease and strokes. Physical Properties: Molecular Weight: 146.19 Molecular Formula: C6H14N2O2 Structural Formula: H2N(CH2)4CH(NH2)COOH Displayed Formula: Skeletal Formula: Figure 1: Lysine biosynthesis (early stages) Figure 2: Lysine biosynthesis (later stages) 1 ...read more.

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