L-lysine is an essential amino acid that has a number of functions in the body. Taking supplements of L-lysine in its free form may allow a number of beneficial health effects to manifest. For example, L-lysine may have some therapeutic effects against the development of osteoporosis. This effect stems from its ability to regulate calcium metabolism. In particular, L-lysine can help the body absorb calcium, thus improving calcium homeostasis where low intakes are present. In addition, L-lysine in combination with L-arginine increases the formation of bone by changing the metabolic regulation of bone homeostasis. Lysine may also improve collagen formation and this may also improve the strength of bone through its connective tissue. One particularly useful application of L-lysine may lie in preventing calcium from being excreted. For example, in one study increased calcium intake increased calcium excretion, but in a treatment group administered L-lysine, calcium retention was increased significantly.
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