Study suggests “L-lysine may be of benefit to patients in alleviating some of the negative and cognitive effects of schizophrenia.”

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A small study just published has shown that sufferers from schizophrenia who are in receipt of the all natural L-lysine in conjunction with their medication did find a reduction in their symptoms.

The debilitation caused by the condition, reduces many of the functions of humans which others take for granted, these include cognitive problems and an inability to cope in certain social situations, poor concentration, and problems with memory. It is a disorder which is assumed to affect as many as 1 in every 200 persons.

Whilst the bulk of patients do manage to see some relief from their symptoms through antipsychotic drugs, they do on the main part still suffer from negative symptoms and cognitive problems.

Small Study

The small study that has been conducted took 10 patients with the debilitation and gave them either a small dosage of L-lysine or a placebo for 28 consecutive days. All of the subjects had been on a regular does of antipsychotics for at least three months. Each had not had a psychotic episode for at least two months prior to the beginning of the study.

Before they began a test was carried out on their blood lysine levels as well as tests on the severity of their ailment. Their functional ability was tested using the Wisconsin Card Sorting and Trail Making tests (Along with others) at the start, after four, and after eight weeks.

Response to L-lysine

It was found that eight of the subjects showed a response to the L-lysine treatment, this was demonstrated by an increase of lysine in their blood. It was found amongst these eight, that the treatment was beneficial in that there was a general trend amongst them through taking on the symptomatic and cognitive tests that there was an improvement.

Feeling Better

It was even noted in the study that three of the participants actually noticed a difference in themselves of a positive nature. It was found however that given the small scale of the research, there was a benefit found through use of the placebo also. Another problem being, that there was an increased knowledge of the tests themselves by the subjects over the eight weeks, meaning that scores would have been better anyway.

Starting Place

Dr Wass a lead author of the study said, “This study is a starting place for further research into the beneficial effects of L-lysine as part of the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. It was an extremely low dose, and a small sized trial, which limited the conclusions we could draw.”


L-lysine is an amino acid known as ‘the inner salt,’ and a connective tissue protein that is seen as being very important for the body. Whilst it has long been used in the maintenance of a healthy body, useful for the skin etc, this is the first time that its benefits have been observed in this fashion.

Trustworthy Conclusion

The facts of the matter being that this study was so small, and did indeed demonstrate that there was little difference when reconciling the affects of the placebo, versus the effects of L-lysine. As a result it may be the case that it will be a long time before doctors actively prescribe L-lysine as a medication form for schizophrenia.


Whilst the researchers did not go so far as to explain why there was a relief from symptoms of schizophrenia from the use of L-lysine, it is possible that there is an explanation. Amino acids serve to reduce the level of nitric oxide in the brain, which is a determinant of enhanced memory and social function.

This information was acquired by Swedish scientists who noted after experimenting with rats that when they treated rats that showed symptoms of schizophrenia with drugs designed to reduce these levels, they regained normal brain function.

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