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Lysine: the Wonder Drug

            Think back to your middle school and early high school days, back to when your body was still getting its act together, you had a new boyfriend every week (and yes, you were in love with all of them) and pimples were your worst nightmare. I had mediocre skin in middle school. I never had extreme, potentially scarring zits, but I definitely had my fair share of red pimple monsters. I would beg my mom to buy every single drug store cream, all promising perfect, zit-free skin. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, and I found cream after cream drying out my skin and leaving those pesky pimples intact. I had just started high school when my friend’s mom told me about L-Lysine.
            Formally called L-Lysine, Lysine is an essential amino acid (think back to AP bio), which means that your body doesn’t produce it, but can only procure it from food or supplements. Lysine is my little secret to almost perfect, healthy skin. After hearing about Lysine I dragged my mom to the grocery store one more time in a last ditch effort to clear up my skin once and for all. Since that day almost seven years ago, I take Lysine every day and I’m still so impressed with the results.


            And guess what, Lysine does more than give you beautiful, clear skin; it also helps regulate tons of things inside your body. Lysine aids in the absorption of calcium, meaning taking it on a regular basis can help prevent osteoporosis. It is also essential for constant tissue repair and muscle growth; it is especially important for athletes and avid exercisers. Another benefit of Lysine? It supports the production of elastin and collagen, which equals tight, smooth blemish-free skin. And finally, research has shown that Lysine can be used as a mild anti-anxiety medicine, because it increases serotonin (the happy hormone) levels in your body.
            So now you’re wondering where you can get your hands on this wonder drug? Try almost anywhere. I usually get mine at a Walmart or Target, just because pills can get expensive at pharmacies or grocery stores. Make sure you look at the dosage too. Most bottles come in 200mg, 500mg or 1000mg. There are no dosage standards set, but I usually take two or three 200mg pills a day. When doing my research on Lysine, I didn’t find any overdose warnings, only quick mentions of some abdominal cramps (of which I’ve never had) so I would advise starting at a low dose and going from there.
            However, one warning that I did find was a warning against Lysine deficiency. Cooking at high temperatures can destroy Lysine in foods, so try your broccoli raw instead of steamed. Some symptoms of Lysine deficiency include: loss of energy, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, hair loss and bloodshot eyes. Long term Lysine deficiency can also cause anemia, reproductive disorders and delayed growth. If you want more Lysine but aren’t interested in taking a pill, stock up on these yummy foods: chicken, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, parmesan cheese, kidney beans and many more!


            So run, don’t walk to the store of your choice and pick up a bottle of saved-my-high-school-popularity L-Lysine. It’s relatively cheap and the results are well worth it. Also, when buying a Lysine supplement, I’d advise looking for an L-Form amino acid instead of a D-Form. L-Forms are more similar to the natural human body composition, meaning an easier absorption and quicker results! 

Laura Tentas is a Junior Business Marketing major at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics. She is the Vice President of the Marketing and Advertising Club at the Whittemore School and past Vice President of Recruitment for her sorority, Alpha Phi International Fraternity, Eta Alpha Chapter. Laura enjoys snowboarding, bikram yoga and anything to do with the ocean. She hopes to some day write a novel and her favorite TV show is Law and Order SVU.
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