Lysine May Prevent Cold Sore Outbreaks
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Long before prescription medications became available to control herpes simplex outbreaks, which cause cold sores, lysine was considered a useful weapon to combat herpes infections. Many people still prefer the natural remedy over a newer prescription drug because of lysines safety and low cost. An amino acid, lysine is not produced in the body but can be found in high quantities in milk, soybeans, lentils and meat.
Uses: Primarily to prevent recurrences, and limit the severity, of cold sores. While the amino acid arginine, which is found in nuts and chocolate, promotes the growth of the herpes virus, lysine is thought to suppress the virus by increasing the ratio of lysine to arginine.
Dose: High doses of lysine, 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams per day, are typically taken for a short period of time to control a herpes outbreak.
Precautions: Taking high doses of lysine for long periods of time could be risky, and, thus, is not recommended. Lysine can cause mild stomach distress in some people taking high doses.
Research: The studies on lysines prevention of fever blisters have generally pointed to evidence of some benefit. Some studies also indicate lysine may help the body absorb calcium, but more research in humans is needed.
Dietary supplement makers are not required by the U.S. government to demonstrate that their products are safe or effective. Ask your health-care provider for advice on selecting a brand.
Anxiety & Mental Health Benefits
Lysine supports the absorption of calcium in the body. Calcium, along with other important nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, and omega fatty acids, all help to relieve the effects of anxiety.
Calcium, with support from Lysine, binds to serotonin receptors to prevent stress-induced anxiety symptoms. Lysine is also showing promising benefits to improve negative and general psychopathology symptoms in chronic schizophrenia.
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A healthy lifestyle and the right supplements may offer relief from genital herpes.
A healthy lifestyle and the right supplements may offer relief from genital herpes.
Anna Ivanova/Alamy Alamy
A viral infection causes genital herpes, and there is no cure for it. But if you have genital herpes, you can use complementary approaches to reduce how often you have outbreaks. Some alternative therapies can also provide relief from discomfort and pain during outbreaks that do occur.
This kind of viral outbreak , and other viruses, like a cold, is usually related to stress and your immunity, says Lucy Gade, MD, MPH, the medical director at the Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine at Northwell Health, in Oyster Bay, New York. As a result, an alternative medicine approach to herpes treatment involves making smart lifestyle choices to foster your general wellness. In doing so, you bolster your immune systems ability to fight the two viruses that cause herpes, herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 .
A healthy diet, appropriate sleep, finding ways to decrease stressors in your life These alone will make your herpes outbreaks less frequent, says Dr. Gade. Such healthy habits will also improve your overall well-being, lengthen your life, and boost your happiness.
But first, make sure you have an accurate diagnosis for whats causing your symptoms.
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What Does Lysine Do For Cold Sores
Taking Lysine by mouth may have benefits in reducing the recurrences of cold sores and lessening the severity and healing time of cold sores.
There may even be benefits of increased healing speed by applying Lysine based medications topically in ointment form.
The mechanism behind how Lysine helps with cold sores is thought to be due to its ability to block Arginine, which the herpes virus uses to replicate.
Lysine may also help support the immune system to better combat viral infections.
Who Shouldn’t Take Lysine Supplements
Certain people should avoid taking lysine supplements, including:
- People who are pregnant or breastfeeding: There is not enough evidence to know if lysine is safe for these populations.
- People who take calcium supplements: Lysine may increase the amount of calcium your body absorbs, which could potentially lead to hypercalcemia.
- Anyone with lysinuric protein intolerance: This is a rare condition in which the body cannot properly digest lysine and other amino acids.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first before starting any new supplements.
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Interactions With Supplements Foods & Other Compounds
Lysine supplementation increases the absorption of calcium and may reduce its excretion.1 As a result, some researchers believe that lysine may eventually be shown to have a role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.2
Lysine works with other essential amino acids to maintain growth, lean body mass, and the bodys store of nitrogen.
What The Research Says
If you eat a balanced diet that includes red meat, fish, and dairy products, you probably consume enough lysine. Its also widely advertised as a dietary supplement. In the body, lysine knocks out another protein building block, or amino acid, called arginine. To boost the effect of lysine, avoid arginine-rich foods such as nuts and seeds.
A large review concluded that L-lysine had no reliable effect on cold sores. In a smaller study that seemed to show an effect, participants took an average of just over 900 milligrams of the supplement daily for six months. At this or even higher levels, L-lysine appears to have no toxic effects.
Whether L-lysine is likely to work on reducing the intensity or duration of shingles symptoms is a separate question.
Theres not a shred of evidence that it works, says Aaron Glatt, MD, chairman of the department of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital and spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Its probably not dangerous, but I wouldnt tell someone to spend money on it.
If youd like to explore L-lysine as a treatment option for shingles, make an appointment with your doctor. You can discuss whether its the right treatment for you.
Possible side effects include:
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What Do The Studies Show
Some studies have shown that taking lysine on a regular basis can reduce the duration of cold sores symptoms. One study found that 3 grams a day for a period of six months reduced the number of cold sores and shortened the healing time . Another study showed that lysine accelerated the healing process for 87% of participants, reducing the average time from 21 days to 6 days . A comparable result was reported in a 12-month double-blind, crossover study with 1 gram of lysine per day .
Experts generally agree that lysine may not prevent cold sores but may reduce recurrences or the severity of symptoms. A review published in 2017 concluded that more, longer-term studies are needed for daily doses of lysine in excess of 1.2 grams to definitively test the role of lysine in the prevention of the herpes virus .
Note that not only the absolute amount of lysine but also the ratio of lysine to arginine plays a role. Foods that have a relatively high ratio of lysine to arginine are yogurt, cheese and goats milk. Nuts, sesame seeds and snails have a high ratio of arginine to lysine .
If You Have Symptoms Find Out What Youre Dealing With
With genital herpes, the biggest mistake people make is not seeking medical advice, says Gade.
People often find the signs or symptoms of a first herpes outbreak confusing, says Gade. You may mistake herpes symptoms for those of a yeast infection and try curing that condition on your own. But if your healthcare provider diagnoses you with herpes, the first line of treatment will be antiviral medications.
, you can make matters worse by putting things on the herpes sores that you shouldnt put on the sores, she says. People often try using Vaseline, bacitracin, or Aquaphor to soothe the itchy or painful eruptions.
Honestly, not putting anything on the sores is best, says Gade. Do keep the area clean and dry, though.
Warm compresses applied to tender or painful areas can help. So can sitting in a warm bath, using Epsom salt.
Sometimes people have enormous pain with urination, says Gade. For relief, you can urinate in your bathwater or while taking a shower to dilute the urine stream and lessen the sensation. You can also use warm water in a spray bottle to dilute the stream while youre urinating.
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Upgrade Your Eating Habits
Are you eating a standard American diet, or SAD? That means eating lots of meat, fast foods, and processed foods and few fresh fruits and vegetables. Such habits not only work against living comfortably with herpes, they also raise your risk for many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Consider upgrading your eating habits through a few, not-so-hard-to-make changes.
Eat more veggies. Try to prepare home-cooked food more often. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed, says LeeAnn Weintraub, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles. She considers these three tips to be the first steps anyone who wants to eat more healthfully should follow.
Do I Need To Taketo Prevent Outbreaks
This is a tough question to answer directly because it depends greatly on each individuals specific diet. However, nutrition is key to preventing herpes outbreaks. Some people naturally consume high levels of lysine compared to arginine and would need significantly less lysine supplementation to prevent herpes outbreaks.
Other people like vegans or athletes either consume relatively little lysine on their regular diet or utilize it so fast for muscle building and repair that they need to supplement with significantly higher doses.
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Why Take A Lysine Supplement
- Studies have shown that taking lysine on a regular basis may help prevent outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes.
- Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it is necessary for human health, however the body can’t produce it, so you must get it through food or from supplements.
- Lysine is important for proper growth it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol.
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. Zhonghua Yi.Xue.Za Zhi. 1982 62:11-12. View abstract.
Doraiswamy, T. R., Singh, N., and Daniel, V. A. Effects of supplementing ragi diets with lysine or leaf protein on the growth and nitrogen metabolism of children. Br.J.Nutr. 1969 23:737-743. View abstract.
Heinrichs, W., Fauth, U., Seufert, W., and Halmagyi, M. . Infusionsther.Klin.Ernahr. 1987 14:252-255. View abstract.
Kagan, C. Letter: Lysine therapy for herpes simplex. Lancet 1-26-1974 1:137. View abstract.
Matsuda, I., Arashima, S., Imanishi, Y., Yamamoto, J., Akaboshi, I., Shinozuka, S., and Nagata, N. Lysine intolerance in a variant form of citrullinemia. Pediatr.Res. 1979 13:1134-1136. View abstract.
Metges, C. C., Eberhard, M., and Petzke, K. J. Synthesis and absorption of intestinal microbial lysine in humans and non-ruminant animals and impact on human estimated average requirement of dietary lysine. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2006 9:37-41. View abstract.
Miller, C. S. and Foulke, C. N. Use of lysine in treating recurrent oral herpes simplex infections. Gen.Dent. 1984 32:490-493. View abstract.
Milman, N., Jessen, O., and Scheibel, J. . Ugeskr.Laeger 10-22-1979 141:2960-2962. View abstract.
Pellett, P. L. and Ghosh, S. Lysine fortification: past, present, and future. Food Nutr.Bull. 2004 25:107-113. View abstract.
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Expect The First Outbreak To Be The Worst
Remember that although herpes lasts a lifetime, the first outbreak typically causes the most pain, while later outbreaks tend to be much milder.
You will always have herpes, and the sores will come and go, but you can decide not to treat the current outbreak. If its not that unpleasant or uncomfortable, some patients will do that, says Gade.
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Dosage For Treating Or Preventing Cold Sores
Lysine is available as an oral supplement and a cream.
To treat a cold sore infection, apply lysine cream to the affected area every two hours for 11 days.
To manage cold sore infections, the recommended dosage for oral supplements is 1 gram three times daily. To help prevent them, the dosage is 1 gram daily.
Its also recommended that you take a zinc and vitamin C supplement to provide your immune system with an additional boost.
If you see no improvement in your condition, discuss dosages and alternative treatment with your doctor. If you begin to experience worsening symptoms, stop treatment immediately.
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How Often Should You Take Lysine For Genital Herpes
For genital herpes, you should be taking approximately three pills/capsules in 1,000 mg strengths once daily. If you feel an outbreak will occur in times of stress or the likelihood of activated triggers, you should take 4-6 pills/capsules in 1,000 mg strengths daily. This latter dosage is also appropriate for during an outbreak.
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Other Cold Sore Treatment Options
While it’s uncertain whether taking an oral lysine supplement or using a cream containing lysine could provide the results you may be looking for, it’s worth noting that you have many other cold sore treatment options.
The Mayo Clinic assures that blisters do typically clear up on their own within two to four weeks, but if you are interested in a quicker recovery, your doctor might prescribe an oral medication, such as valacyclovir or acyclovir, to help speed up the healing process. At-home treatments, such as using a cold compress, applying lip balm or using an over-the-counter cold sore cream, can also help ease your discomfort.
Another way to cope with HSV-1 is to learn what triggers your outbreaks and try to avoid those triggers. Some people find that stress often leads to the formation of blisters, for example. Practicing stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, might help you relax and avoid an outbreak.
Ultimately, the best thing to do if you’re curious about trying lysine for cold sores is talk to your doctor. They can give you advice on the benefits or drawbacks of using a supplement and can recommend other treatments to keep your cold sores under control.
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What Are Todays Most Popular Best Lysine For Herpes Models
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Inevitably, certain products will only appeal to particular types of people. Which products are the most popular amongst customers as a whole, you could ask. If you’d want a list, we have one here. Check out our wide range of products that look to be appealing to people of various ages, genders, and places.
Why Our Bodies Need Lysine
Our bodies build proteins by stringing together amino acids in a chain. In order to build proteins, it is necessary to have all of the necessary amino acids present. Our bodies produce some of these proteins, but there are some we are unable to synthesize. These are known as essential amino acids because they are essential for us to get in order to survive. If you are missing just one amino acid, proteins cannot be synthesized. When we cannot synthesize proteins, we cannot grow or repair our bodies.
Think of it like building a house. If you have lumber, shingles, and concrete for the foundation you are pretty well on your way to having a nice home. Without nails, though, you wont get very far. Essential amino acids are like the nails.
Lysine is more than just a building block of protein. It also helps to convert fatty acids into energy and lower cholesterol. Lysine helps with the absorption of calcium from the diet and is an important component of collagen which is a connective tissue that holds our bodies together.
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Pay Attention To What You Eat
ASHA reports that some people believe foods containing the amino acid arginine, such as legumes and whole grains, can contribute to outbreaks. A few older studies, conducted in 1981 and 1987, showed a possible connection, but ASHA states there is no clinical evidence to support these studies. However, because triggers may vary based on the individual, keep track of the foods you eat to determine if there is a connection.
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Lysine For Treating Herpes Simplex Virus
Lysine is one of the nine essential amino acids. This classification indicates that these amino acids are essential for life, cannot be manufactured by the human body, and must be obtained from food.
Amino acids form the structure for all proteins. Lysine plays many roles in human metabolism, and one of lysines most crucial functions is its metabolism into acetyl coenzyme A, one of the key components in the Krebs cycle.