Food containing Lysine

What is Lysine?

Lysine is the amino acid which is found in different food in the form of the proteins. For example beans, cheese, meat, milk, brewer’s yeast, yoghurt, wheat germ, and other animal proteins. It contains an α-amino group, an α-carboxylic acid group and a side-chain lysyl classifying it as a charged aliphatic amino acid.

It is essential for humans, meaning the body cannot synthesize it and thus it must be obtained from the diet. The availability of lysine has been, in general, reduced with different methods of preparation of food such as heating foods in the presence of a reducing sugar and heating foods in the presence of sucrose or yeast; and cooking without the presence of moisture at high temperatures.

Without this kind of amino acids, animals could not absorb calcium or make any collagen, nor can create any type of antibodies, or enzymes or hormones and it is important in growing up of animals and also eyesight. Lysine is said to be at the base of life on this planet.

Lysine Structure

Lysine Structure

Structure of Lysine Structure

Lysine Uses

  • There are mainly two uses of lysine: traditional and general uses which are as given below-
  1. Traditional (Ethnobotanical) Uses:

    The lysine is an essential amino acid for the human body as it cannot produce it. It must be taken in either as part of the daily diet or in the form of supplementation.

  2. Other Uses:

    Lysine is used for the prevention and treatment of herpes infections and cold sores. It also increases the absorption of calcium and eliminates its excretion by the kidney.

Lysine-rich foods:


Lysine (in % of protein)

Amaranth, grain, uncooked 5.17
Azuki bean (adzuki beans) mature seeds, raw 7.53
Beef, ground, 90% lean/ 10% fat, cooked 8.31
Catfish, channel, farmed, raw 9.19
Chicken, roasting, meat, and skin, cooked, roasted 8.11
Chickpea, (garbanzo beans, Bengal gram), mature seeds, raw 6.69
Egg, whole, raw 7.27
Kidney bean, mature seeds, raw 6.87
Lentil, pink, raw 6.97
Lentil, sprouts, raw 7.95
Milk, non-fat 7.48
Navy bean, mature seeds, raw 5.73
Parmesan cheese grated 7.75
Pea, split, mature seeds, raw 7.22
Pumpkin Seed dried 7.4
Quinoa 5
Soybean, mature seeds, raw 7.42
Soybean, mature seeds, sprouts 5.74
Winged bean (aka Goa Bean or Asparagus Pea), mature seeds, raw 7.20

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