: There is now growing interests in the usage of lysine as a possible adjuvant to treat COVID-19 among the research community after a non-medical professional by the name of Bo Karlicki from the the Dominican Republic took his own initiative to do his own research and started advocating the usage of Lysine to help in the possible treatment of COVID-19 and also as a possible prophylaxis and his actions started to gain online momentum. He finally came into contact with Dr Christopher Kagan, M.D who can be best described as the “father of lysine therapy against the hespesvirus” with his published research in 1978. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/640102/
Bo Karlicki has since been advocating various communities to use lysine in their treatment protocols with positive observational outcomes.
Together, the two with another colleague have published a pre-print study that has not been peer-reviewed advocating the use of lysine to treat COVID-19. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344210822_Lysine_Therapy_for_SARS-CoV-2
In 2016, a German study by the Institute of Virology at the Justus Liebig University Giessen, demonstrated that Lysine along with aspirin and the usage of glycine impaired coronavirus replication. The study was published in a peer reviewed Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/d-llysine-acetylsalicylate--glycine-impairs-coronavirus-replication-jaa-1000151.pdf
The study suggested that lysine also contributed to NF-κB inhibition and also disruption of the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein replication.
Past studies have shown that lysine was effective as a prophylaxis and for the treatment of herpesvirus because it competes with the other amino acid arginine which is needed for reproduction of various viral proteins. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419779/
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genome has Envelop (E) proteins and also Nucleocapsid (N) proteins with arginine in various locations hence using lysine to displace or disrupt the arginine amino acids could in theory help disrupt or inhibit viral replication.
However despite the so called undocumented cases of individual
s claiming to experience better results by taking lysine, we strongly advocate against doing so just yet until detailed studies are done as taking lysine could also backfire as studies in the case of HIV has shown that lysine actually ends up aiding HIV virus replication. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3906300/#:~:text=Excess%20of%20l%2Dlysine%20concentration,of%20this%20essential%20amino%20acid
There are also another group of researchers who feel the opposite that supplementation with arginine could do the same to disrupt or inhibit viral replication.
It should also be noted that lysine intake can result in arginine deficiency which may occur with kidney or small bowel pathology, sepsis, sickle cell disease, burns, trauma, or surgery. Arginine is essential for growth, wound healing, endothelial function, and nitric oxide production. Lysine should, therefore, be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease, impotence, gallstones, asthma, or immune dysfunction.
Thailand Medical News suggests that despite lysine being an interesting candidate for usage in COVID-19 treatment, until detailed studies emerge on the actual effects or mechanisms of both lysine and arginine supplements on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its replication and viral functions as well as pathogenesis, one should for the time being give such amino acid supplementations a miss.
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Read also: https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-treatments-amino-acids-cysteine-and-theanine-could-have-efficacy-against-sars-cov-2-according-to-japanese-study