What is lysine and why is it so important?
In grade school we tend to accept what we are taught as comprehensive. However, the older we get, the more we find that knowledge is ever evolving. Take the human microbiome for example. Did you know there are trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms in our gut (called the gut microbiome) that weigh several pounds?
"Did you know there are trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms in our gut (called the gut microbiome) that weigh several pounds?"
Our bodies work together with this microbiome every day to ensure healthy digestion and immune protection in response to what we consume. Furthermore, your body doesn’t just use proteins in your body like spare parts, but instead breaks them down completely into amino acid molecules so it can build new proteins. It is in this need for amino acid molecules that we find one of the critical functions of the microbiome: lysine production.
Let me explain.
There are 22 different amino acid molecules used by the body to build over 100,000 different types of proteins. 9 of these amino acid molecules are called “essential” because they must be extracted from our food or created by the microbiome. Our most recent research has given us further insight into one of these “essential” amino acid molecules: lysine.
In our double-blind, scientific study we collected urine from 26 healthy adults over a two-week period and looked at amino acid molecule levels. We discovered there was a significant increase in lysine in those adults that regularly took the dietary supplement, ION*Gut Health. Since these adults did not alter their diet, we can conclude that ION*Gut Health is supporting the microbiome’s production of lysine. We already know that ION*Gut Health helps to support the body’s defensive barriers; how exciting to share how lysine and immune system support from ION*Gut Health further fortify these defenses.
So, What Does Lysine Do?
As an essential amino acid, lysine benefits many of the body’s vital functions. Lysine – also referred to as l-lysine in its bioavailable form – has been studied in other laboratories and published research has made it widely known that lysine accelerates wound healing (including the healing of cold-sore herpes (HSV-1)). Lysine has also been shown to be critical for collagen formation. Collagen is what makes up bones, muscle, skin, and tendons making it vitally important to our physical health. Lysine has even been shown to upregulate immune function. It can increase the body’s ability to absorb zinc, and therefore helps support the body’s immunity by supporting all the immune benefits zinc can bring.
Further research has shown lysine plays an important role in stabilizing three-dimensional protein structures which is a very complicated and critical aspect of proper protein function in a healthy body. From a biologist’s perspective, there are several levels of organization in the structure of a protein. The amino acids are the primary structure. Then there are stretches of polypeptide chains in the form of helices and sheets which is the secondary structure and then the full three-dimensional organization of the protein is the tertiary structure. Lysine therefore plays a role in the primary structure as well as the tertiary structure. Even small protein molecules require thousands of atoms linked together requiring lysine for these protein structures to be stable and to function as needed in a healthy body.
ION*Gut Health and Lysine
In addition to the aforementioned functions of lysine, these recent findings help us understand one of the likely mechanisms by which Terrahydrite®, the active ingredient in ION*Gut Health, supports tight junction protection and repair following gluten or glyphosate injury that we have reported to you previously. Because lysine is critical to protein tertiary structure, if you have more lysine created by the microbiome, then the proteins that make up the tight junction will be folded/function appropriately.
We are thrilled to share this small glimpse into the microbiome and how ION*Gut Health works via that space to promote lysine production in healthy subjects.
Happy microbiome, everyone!
Matt Bednar, PhD
Bringing science out of the lab and into your life