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A to Z Nutrients

L

Lead
Licorice
Liver
Lobelia
Lomatium Root
Lotus, Asiatic
Lutein
L-lysine

Lead is everywhere in our environment. All animal and plant tissues contain small amounts of lead, as does the soil from which plants and plant-derived foods are grown. As a result, virtually everything we eat or drink contains some lead. In particular, lead occurs everywhere that calcium occurs because of chemical similarities between lead and calcium. Food manufacturers and dietary supplement manufacturers use good manufacturing practices to avoid adding any lead to foods or supplements. Since lead is naturally present in the earth's soil, water and atmosphere, removing it entirely is impossible.
The FDA has estimated that daily lead intake of 250 micrograms per day are tolerable (safe) for pregnant women. For comparison, 1,000 mg of calcium from a calcium carbonate supplement could contain up to 7.5 micrograms of lead -- and of that, only 0.25 micrograms is actually absorbed by the body. Calcium is critical for maintaining good health and protecting against osteoporosis, a disease that affects 28 million Americans. Consumers should continue to take the recommended amount of calcium daily. Calcium acts as a lead inhibitor to dramatically reduce the body's absorption of lead. Those small amounts in calcium products and supplements are generally less than the federal standard of 3 PPM (parts per million). The FDA's position has been to reassure consumers that there is no risk associated with products now on the market that meet current federal standards.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, G. lepidota) Specific for adrenal gland insufficiency; demulcent; expectorant for coughs and respiratory congestion; anti-inflammatory; laxative.

Liver has been used by athletes for strength and endurance for a long time. Bodybuilder Vince Cironda became famous for his advocacy of liver supplements for bodybuilding, citing a study where rats whose diet was supplemented with liver for two weeks survived a swimming test in ice-cold water far longer than the control group. This indicates an increase in stamina, heat, and just plain 'ol strength. Many customers report similar results from taking liver (though nobody we know has timed their survival rate swimming in the S.F. Bay!) We have desiccated liver tablets, as well as Enzymatic Therapy Liquid Liver and TwinLab Predigested Liver Aminos.

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) Respiratory stimulant; anti-asthmatic; anti-emetic. Used for bronchitis and bronchitic asthma, whooping cough, muscular cramping and pain.

Lomatium Root (Lomatium dissectum) Antiviral; immune stimulant; for colds, flu, viral sore throats, respiratory infections and congestion.

Lotus, Asiatic Holy, contains, according to experts at Scientific Consulting Services, potent antifungal factors which inhibit filamentous fungi growth. It is found in one of their products, Tanalbit, along with tannates, and with chitin, a substance related to N-acetyl-glucosamine.

Lutein See Lutein Article

L-lysine, an essential amino acid, is a key amino acid needed for growth, tissue repair, and the production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes. It is found in meat, eggs, fish, milk, cheese and yeast, and is lacking in certain cereal proteins such as gliadin from wheat and zein from corn. L-lysine deficiencies can result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss, anemia and reproductive problems. When severe, L-lysine deficiency may result in diminished utilization of fatty acids for energy production and even in sudden death. Human needs for L-lysine vary markedly from person to person. In one study, the amount of L-lysine required for protein balance was found to vary from 400 to 1600 milligrams per day.
L-lysine has been researched as having a possible role in reducing the incidence of herpes infection and migraine headaches. Herpes is caused by a virus (herpes virus hominis) that remains in the body in a dormant state until the immune system is weakened by some stress such as colds, sunburn or overtiredness. And in some people, the eating of low L-lysine foods such as nuts, seeds and cereals causes a nutritional imbalance that favors growth of the herpes virus. L·lysine suppresses the virus by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth. This is further helped by avoiding sources of L-Arginine, such as chocolate and Brazil nuts, because excess L-Arginine promotes the growth of the virus. The research showing that L-lysine suppresses the herpes virus goes at least as far back as 1952 and is quite extensive.
If the theory that a herpes simplex virus is the causative agent in many cranial nerve syndromes, including migraine headache, is correct, then L-lysine may be helpful in the treatment of these headaches. When the virus subsides to latency in the cranial and spinal ganglia, it is protected from circulating antibodies. Herpes reactivation and replication begins in the ganglion cells, and then passes down the axons to induce the formation of the herpetic vesicle in the skin or mucous membranes. Current treatments for migraine and tension headaches assume the disease is primarily a vascular one instead of a neuritis. Although more research is needed on this, since L-lysine is safely supplemented at typical doses, it may be worth a try as an adjunct nutritional help for migraine headaches. (top)