L-Lysine is an essential amino acid which means the body doesn’t produce it. Therefore, we have to get a sufficient amount of it from alternative sources (e.g. foods, supplements). It’s a building block of protein which means it’s essential for hormones, enzymes, the immune system, the stabilization of fatty acids and carbs, and more. In addition, it may improve athletic performance.
We’ve reviewed 12 of the best L-Lysine brands/products on the market. Also, we’ve provided some useful information on the ingredient so that you can understand more about how it can be a beneficial addition to your supplement regime.
- Now Supplements Double Strength L-Lysine – Buy here – Editor’s Choice
- Pure Encapsulations L-Lysine – Buy here
- Superior Labs L-Lysine – Buy here
- Quantum Health Superlysine – Buy here
- Amazing Nutrition Amazing Formulas L-Lysine – Buy here
- Thorne Research Lysine – Buy here
- Solgar L-Lysine – Buy here
- Nature Made Extra Strength L-Lysine – Buy here
- BulkSupplements L-Lysine HCL – Buy here
- BRI Nutrition L-Lysine Extra Strength – Buy here
- Nutricost L-Lysine – Buy here
- Amazon Elements Lysine Complex – Buy here
Check Out These Top L-Lysine Products!
NOW Supplements is one of the most popular and quality brands on the market. Therefore, we chose it as our number one for the best L-Lysine brands review.
This formula is double strength with 1,000mg (from 1,270mg L-Lysine hydrochloride) of the active ingredient. Hydrochloride or HCl is a form that is believed to allow for better absorption of the ingredient. There’s no soy, dairy, or gluten and this product is vegan.
- NPA A-rated GMP certification
- Family-owned and operated
- Charitable giving company
- Few complaints about large pills
- Few user issues with abdominal discomfort
- Few concerns about potency
- Use of several fillers although likely in small amounts
- 1,000mg (from 1,270mg L-Lysine hydrochloride)
- Other ingredients – microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, stearic acid (vegetable source), vegetarian coating, magnesium stearate (vegetable source)
Who makes it
NOW Supplements is a family-owned and operated company that has produced top-notch quality products since 1968. They are a household name with a huge variety of health products and they also contribute to charitable giving which says a lot about the company.
Here’s another quality product from a reputable brand that is trusted by medical professionals. It contains a dose of 500mg L-Lysine HCL (free form) per serving while also being a gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan product.
Pure Encapsulations produces pure, hypoallergenic supplements without anything extra that’s not necessarily needed.
- Made with hypoallergenic ingredients
- free from magnesium stearate, gluten, hydrogenated fat, artificial sweeteners and colors
- Some users complained of stomach discomfort
- Few user concerns about efficacy for intended use
- 500mg L-Lysine HCL (free form)
- Vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water) and ascorbyl palmitate
Who makes it
Pure Encapsulations prioritizes the manufacturing of pure products that are safe and free of unnecessary excipients. The company partners with leaders in health to create perfectly-dosed and effective products.
Superior Labs products are made right here in the USA. Their L-Lysine capsules are as simple as it gets with 100% of the active ingredient minus any fillers, preservatives, or any artificial ingredients.
Each dose gives you 500mg in a vegetarian capsule. They’ve provided key information on the labeling verifying that the formula is safe from heavy metals, allergens, and pesticides.
- No additives, preservatives, or fillers
- Tested safe from heavy metals
- 3rd party certified
- Few complaints of allergic reaction to ingredients
- Some concerns of potency
- 500mg L-Lysine HCl
- Other ingredients – plant cellulose (vegetable capsule), and organic rice concentrate.
Who makes it
Superior Labs prioritizes customer health and safety hence the reason for omitting any potentially harmful ingredients. Therefore, they claim to spend more time on their products to ensure users have a safe and satisfactory experience.
Unlike the previous few products on our list so far, this one contains more ingredients than just Lysine. In fact, you get vitamin C which is essential for immune health, and as an antioxidant, it can help to protect cells from damage that can cause disease.
In addition, you get a nice dose of garlic bulb which may be beneficial for cardiovascular health, cholesterol, blood pressure, immune health, and much more.
Lastly, licorice root may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects according to the available literature. (6)
So, as you can see, this is a product that packs a punch, especially where the immune system is concerned.
- May have additional immune system benefits
- Award-winning brand
- Contains a few fillers although the amounts may not be significant
- Few complaints of quality
- 1,500mg L-Lysine HCl
- 100mg vitamin C
- 200mg garlic bulb
- 100mg Echinacea whole plant
- 25mg propolis P.E.
- 15mg licorice root
- Additional ingredients – cellulose, vegetable stearine, silicon dioxide, sodium hydroxycellulose, cellulose coating, natural colorants
Who makes it
Quantum Health has developed supplements and personal care products for 35 years. They’re committed to providing high-quality products that contain highly-research ingredients.
If you prefer US-made products then here’s another top-notch option one for you that contains 1,000mg of Lysine (HCL). Like many other Lysine products, it’s used to support immune health, prevent and possibly treat cold sores, and support respiratory function.
- No fillers, artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives
- GMP certified (optimal manufacturing practices)
- Third-party tested for purity and potency
- Contains several fillers
- Complaints about large pills
- Some users experienced minor side effects
- Efficacy of product questioned by several users
- 1,000mg of Lysine (HCL)
- Other ingredients – Few fillers and vegetable coating
Who makes it
Amazing Nutrition is another health brand dedicated to making quality products that support the well-being of its customers. They do third-party testing and are GMP certified to ensure quality standards.
Definitely a premium brand that people are confident in due to their science-backed formulas that has gained the trust of many. Thorne Research Lysine is a clean formula that contains 500mg of Lysine (monohydrochloride). It’s dairy, gluten, and soy-free with no artificial flavors.
- No artificial flavors
- Clean manufacturing in house w/ 4 rounds of testing
- Third-party tested
- Very few user complaints about the efficacy for intended use
- 500mg Lysine (monohydrochloride)
- Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, Calcium Laurate, Leucine, Silicon Dioxide
Who makes it
Thorne Research is trusted by Mayoclinic, U.S. National team, health professionals, and more. They source their products from quality suppliers, manufacture their own products, and do four rounds of testing to ensure top-notch products.
Solgar L-Lysine looks like a product from many years back due to the old-fashioned design. Maybe the fact that they’ve been around since 1947 has something to do with that. But it’s a great product in addition to the unique presentation. It’ll work just the same as the others on our list and is gluten, wheat, and dairy-free as well as being suitable for vegetarians.
- GMO certified
- No artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, or colors
- Few complaints about large pills
- 1,000mg L-lysine (HCL) (free form)
- Other ingredients – microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, silica, and vegetable silica
Who makes it
Solgar, as mentioned previously, has been around since 1947. They only produce science-backed formulas that are sure to provide a happy user experience (at least for most users).
Nature Made is a #1 Pharmacist-recommended brand and it’s so popular, you probably have a bottle of two of their products in your cupboards.
This product, in particular, focuses on enhancing protein synthesis through the addition of amino acids that are the building blocks of protein.
- Quality-tested formula
- No colors, artificial flavors/fillers, or preservatives
- Added amino acids for improved protein synthesis
- Several complaints about large pills
- 1,000mg L-Lysine HCl
- Other ingredients – cellulose gel, stearic acid, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, and a few more
Who makes it
Nature Made is a pretty decent brand that creates products that are science-backed to ensure quality and optimal potency. They make a large selection of supplements that suits almost every need.
Bulksupplements L-Lysine is the simplest and most basic option that you can get. The company uses as little ingredients as possible which they’re known for. So, unlike the other products in our review, you only get the active ingredient and the capsule if you go that route which means nothing else is added.
- No sugar, soy, dairy, yeast, gluten or additives
- Contains amino acids
- Different options available (caps or powder)
- GMP certified
- Several complaints about powder quality
- Other ingredients – (varies although minimal)
Who makes it
BulkSupplements are a unique company in that they only use pure raw ingredients with no additives, flavors, or fillers. If you want simple then they’re a great company to check out.
BRI L-Lysine Extra Strength Provides a potent dose of L-Lysine at 500mg per serving like many of our other picks. Consequently, We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product that is made in the USA might we add.
- Few complaints of undesirable side effects
- 500mg L-Lysine HCL
- Other ingredients – vegetable cellulose (capsule), microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, and silica
Who makes it
BRI Nutrition ensures the premium quality of their supplements by carefully monitoring how their ingredients are grown. Their suppliers also carry a certificate of analysis to ensure the accuracy of each ingredient.
Nutricost is a company that never compromises quality for anything. Their high-dosed L-Lysine capsules are a viable option when it comes to taking advantage of the benefits that this amino acid has to offer. It’s also a gluten-free product.
- Third-party tested
- Several complaints about efficacy of product for intended use
- 1,000mg L-Lysine HCL
- Other ingredients – Rice flour, capsules (gelatin, purified water) stearic acid
Who makes it
The company’s motto is “ONLY WHAT YOU NEED, NOTHING YOU DON’T.”
This implies that they prioritize the quality of all of their products and only include what is needed without the additional unnecessary ingredients you’ll find in many products.
And lastly, an in-house Lysine product, this option from Amazon Essentials has simple yet appealing packaging with a therapeutic amount of the main ingredient. In addition, they supply you with 100mg vitamin C of which we’ve already explained the benefits of previously.
A few other ingredients include garlic bulb, echinacea, bee propolis, and licorice root of which you also saw with the Quantum Health Superlysine+ Immune Support.
The capsules are vegetarian.
- No artificial flavors, colors, or chemical preservatives
- Each batch tested for purity and potency
- Contains fillers although not sure in what amounts
- A serving size contains 1,500mg L-Lysine
- Few fillers and coating
Who makes it
Amazon! Who isn’t familiar with the largest online marketplace on the planet. They make some pretty awesome products within many different categories.
How We Ranked
Here are a few criteria that we took into consideration when choosing these L-Lysine products.
Because we chose quality products that are dosed right where you’d want them to be for daily supplementation, there’s no doubt that our picks are effective. Now with that being said, some users will have a different experience depending on the product.
Therefore, we can’t necessarily say that one is better than the other. We recommended choosing a product from a reputable company that tests its products and uses good manufacturing practices. In addition, see what fellow users are saying about it.
What is L-Lysine typically used for? The short answer… cold sores.
That’s fine, you can use it for this purpose. There’s no difference between any of the products as far as the type of L-Lysine which are all in hydrochloride form. Although, a few of our options do contain additional ingredients such as immune-boosting compounds and amino acids to help promote muscle protein synthesis.
Factor in your desired use when considering purchasing an L-Lysine product.
We consider a good value to be a combination of…
- Quality of ingredients
- Amount of servings for the price
- Company reputation/history
- User feedback
You’re not going to be paying a premium for an L-Lysine product. Like honestly, almost anyone can afford one if they feel that the benefits are worth it. Plus, you get a lot of servings with most products, so cost to servings ratio isn’t much of an issue especially considering the quality of the supplements.
Then, of course, we chose companies with a good track record and mostly positive feedback. L-Lysine seems to be a product that these companies can get right for the most part.
Who Should Buy L-Lysine?
There are no complex answers to this. If the potential benefits appeal to you, then you should consider a high-quality L-Lysine product. Even better, we’ve provided you with 12 great options.
If you’re looking for performance benefits, there may be some positive effects. Although it’s important to have realistic expectations when compared to other more proven supplements/ingredients for this purpose.
How Should I Pick A Good L-Lysine Product?
- Ingredients – All ingredients should contribute to the overall effectiveness of the product.
- Brand reputation – Many brands have been around for a while and have built a solid reputation. They disclose their ingredients, make known their manufacturing practices with certifications, and have a loyal fanbase. But this can also be said for newer companies with the same credentials and satisfied users.
- Value – A good value offers a respectable amount of the key ingredient/s with an appropriate number of servings for a price that reflects what the product offers.
- Key Ingredients content – L-Lysine should be of good quality from a reputable source with a good track record. Other ingredients used to improve protein quality should be safe and appropriate.
- Convenience factor – L-Lysine capsules or tablets are as convenient as it gets.
7 Potential Benefits of L-Lysine
Here are a few potential benefits of L-Lysine.
It may help to prevent cold sores
Perhaps one of the most common uses of L-Lysine, is for the prevention and possible treatment of cold sores. Cold sores, which are fluid-filled sores near the lips, are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). They can definitely be uncomfortable and inconvenient due to the superficial appearance on the skin. (7)
Well, supposedly, the amino acid arginine contributes to the growth of the infection. But L-Lysine has actually shown to inhibit arginine in the laboratory and so in theory, it may positive effects for preventing and treating cold sores. (8)
May improve athletic performance
L-Lysine is a precursor to carnosine; which is made up of the two amino acids histidine and beta-alanine. It’s highly concentrated in the brain and in muscle tissue but is also found in some meats.
Carnosine has many effects on health as an antioxidant (e.g. blood pressure, diabetes, kidney issues, immune system, memory, and more).
But as far as its benefits for performance, carnosine actually reduces lactic acid (causes pain and burning during physical activity) in the muscles that occurs during exercise. Lactic acid inhibits the breakdown of glucose during exercise, resulting in fatigue. But carnosine acts as a buffer against the acid, allowing you to perform for longer durations. (11, 12)
May improve calcium absorption
Calcium is a very important mineral for heart health, nerve function, bone growth, muscles, teeth, hair, and more. But unless calcium can be absorbed adequately, its effects won’t be maximized in the body. Lysine may help to improve the absorption of calcium and one study found that it may be potentially beneficial for the prevention and therapy for osteoporosis osteoporotic women. (13, 14)
May contribute to the improvement of mental health
Lysine has shown in studies to have positive effects on stress, anxiety, and possibly even schizophrenia.
One study found positive effects on rats for stress-induced anxiety and stress-related fecal excretion, although this isn’t necessarily indicative of positive effects for humans. (15)
Although, there is some promising evidence for l-Lysine’s effects on chronic anxiety in humans with low levels of this amino acid.
One study of one hundred eight healthy Japanese adults found that 2.64 g per day in addition to the same dose of arginine significantly reduced mental stress and anxiety while also lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels. (16)
May help to stabilize healthy blood sugar
Although there’s limited evidence for the effects of Lysine on blood sugar, some research suggests it could be beneficial for those with diabetes. (17)
May help to improve high blood pressure
One study of 50 hypertensive men and women saw a reduction in blood pressure in those with less than optimal Lysine levels. (18)
Can help with wound healing
L-Lysine is a component of collagen that is necessary for the structure of the skin. It may help to generate new cells at the wound site while also potentially contributing to the forming of new blood vessels. (19)
L-Lysine is pretty safe at recommended dosages. However, take too much and you could experience some unpleasant side effects which include…
- abdominal pain
- kidney issues
We get a nice amount of lysine in our diet so there’s no reason to try and consume an additional dose through supplementation. Pregnant or nursing women should not take Lysine supplements and, of course, if you’re being monitored by a medical professional then consult with them prior to use.
The recommended dosage for L-Lysine isn’t so clear and, in fact, there is really one in general. However, it’s typically recommended to take 1,000mg a day for up to 12 months to treat cold sores. Although, this dosage has even been doubled or tripled in some instances. (20)
But we personally would advise healthy individuals to follow the product label. If you’re using it for reasons other than to take care of cold sores, 500-1000+ mg per day is acceptable. We do get L-Lysine through diet in most cases but to be safe follow the instructions and/or consult with your doctor to see what they think about you supplementing with it for a specific purpose.
What is L-Lysine best used for?
Many people use it to prevent and treat cold sores caused by the virus herpes simplex labialis. However, L-Lysine has been used for anything from immune health to respiratory support, general health, and more.
It may also help with athletic performance to a small degree.
Is L-Lysine effective?
There’s definitely research that suggests L-Lysine may have positive effects on cold sores, immune system health, athletic performance, calcium absorption, blood sugar/pressure, and wound healing.
On the other hand, there’s limited evidence for certain uses.
How much L-Lysine is effective?
Well, it depends on what you’re using it for. For example, it’s typically recommended to take 1,000mg every day for cold sores.
Otherwise, 500-1000+ mg can be used for general health purposes. Although, if supplementing, you should refer to the product label for dosing instructions.
Are there different forms of L-Lysine products?
Typically L-Lysine is in capsule or powder form. In addition, most products use a hydrochloride (HCL) form that supposedly improves absorption.
As far as we’re concerned, these are among the best L-Lysine brands/products on the market right now and many would agree. This essential amino acid can definitely be a beneficial addition to your daily health regime and now you have a better idea of the quality that’s out there.
And again, have realistic expectations and just be smart about how you supplement.
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