In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use lysine for cold sores. For almost two decades of my life, I suffered from cold sores on my lips.
I typically had cold sore breakouts four times a year or more.
This destroyed my self-esteem, and made me isolate from people as much as humanly possible.
One of the things that helped me during this period was using lysine for cold sores.
Lysine has enabled countless individuals to prevent and shorten the healing time of those nasty cold sores…and now I’d like to show you exactly how this nutrient works, as well as how you can use it to treat your cold sores.
L-lysine is an essential amino acid. This means that we need the nutrient for human health, but our bodies cannot manufacture it.
As a result, L-lysine must be obtained from either food, supplementation, or both.
Here is a list of lysine-rich foods:
- Red meat
Click here to see a list of the foods with the highest L-lysine content.
Lysine For Cold Sores
So now that you have a basic overview of L-lysine, lets discuss why it’s used in the prevention and treatment of cold sores.
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are groups of small blisters that form on or near the lips. Cold sores are a result of something called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
There are two types of HSV, and both can cause cold sores. HSV-1 typically is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is most often the cause of genital herpes.
However, both types of HSV can cause cold sores or genital herpes.
After primary infection, the virus resides in the associated dorsal root ganglion where it lies dormant until an external stimuli (such as stress or immunosuppression) initiate reactivation of the virus from dormancy.
The virus lives on forever, and that’s why people continue to get cold sores over and over again. Fortunately, using lysine for cold sores has shown to be an effective form of natural treatment.
In 1981, Christopher Kagan, M.D., discovered that if he isolated HSV in a petri dish, and added the amino acid L-arginine, the virus would multiply.
However, when he added L-lysine, the virus’s ability to multiply became inhibited.
He realized the virus becomes inhibited because lysine blocks the bioavailability of arginine, which prevents the virus from replicating.
In simple terms, the virus that causes cold sores has a very difficult time replicating when there are high levels of lysine, and low levels of arginine in the body.
Here is a list of foods that have high arginine/low lysine:
- Whole grains
Studies Using Lysine For Cold Sores
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study concluded that “Lysine appears to be an effective agent for reduction of occurrence, severity and healing time for recurrent HSV infection.”
In the study, the cold sore treatment group was given 1,000 mg L-lysine tablets three times a day for a six-month period.
In another study, researchers found that “oral ingestion of 1,248 mg a day of L-Lysine monohydrochloride shows evidence of decreasing the recurrence rate of herpes simplex attacks in nonimmunocompromised hosts.”
Super Lysine Plus Study
Super Lysine Plus Cream, manufactured by Quantum Health, is a natural product containing lysine and other ingredients used in the treatment of cold sores.
In a study, this product was shown to have positive results in the treatment of cold sores. Back when I used to get cold sores, this was one of the topical creams I tried, and it worked pretty well.
On the package, it says the product is “clinically shown to cut healing time in half.” They can legally state this due to the outcome of the study I referred to above. It’s also worth mentioning the disclosure written at the end of the study.
Here is a direct quote:
This study was funded by Quantum, Inc., Eugene, OR. SuperLysine Plus+ is a licensed product of Quantum, Inc. No person in the Southern California University of Health Sciences Research Division has a financial interest in the product or the sponsoring company.”
How To Use Lysine For Cold Sores
Now that you’ve learned why people use L-lysine for cold sores, lets go over dosages.
The following cold sore treatment doses have been studied in scientific research:
- By Mouth – 1000 mg daily for 12 months, and 1000 mg three times daily for 6 months.
- Topical – A specific combination of lysine plus zinc oxide and 14 other ingredients (Super Lysine Plus +) applied every 2 hours for 11 days.
L-lysine taken orally is absorbed best on an empty stomach, 45-60 minutes before meals. Make sure to review lysine contraindications and speak with your healthcare provider before using this supplement.
My favorite oral product is Solgar L-Lysine Vegetable Capsules. It’s more expensive than most, but in my opinion this product is very high quality.
For the prevention and treatment of cold sores, take two capsules on an empty stomach, three times a day.
Types of Lysine For Cold Sores
Along with Super Lysine Plus and the Solgar Lysine capsules, there are many other lysine products, including: tablets, creams, ointments, combination supplements, etc.
There are tons of awesome Lysine products on Amazon you can check out and even read the reviews.
Furthermore, many individuals have successfully reduced their frequency of cold sore outbreaks by eating more lysine-rich foods, and avoiding foods such as chocolate, nuts, seeds, and other foods that are extremely high in arginine.
Anecdotal Evidence Using Lysine For Cold Sores
Many years ago, I used lysine for cold sores (both topical and oral), and in my opinion, this treatment helped me prevent and shorten the healing time of cold sores.
If you read some of the threads on various forums, there are many individuals who say the use of lysine has enabled them to prevent getting as many cold sores. One man even said he didn’t have cold sores for over three years from using lysine on a daily basis.
Results will always vary, but in my opinion, the use of lysine for cold sores can potentially be an effective form of treatment for some individuals.
The key to cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Thus, I encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Preventing Cold Sores.
It’s free and has absolutely everything you need to know.
If you have any questions on using lysine for cold sores, please post them in the comment box below.