Is Lysine Beneficial For Cold Sores?

Cold sores are painful blisters that occur on and around the lips area and are usually grouped in clusters and can take days or weeks before they disappear. They are viral infections caused by variants of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and have no known cure. 

Various remedies can reduce cold sore symptoms, frequency, and occurrences. The remedies may include antiviral medications, creams, and consuming Lysine supplements. Lysine is thought to reduce the spread of cold sores by affecting HSV virus expression in the body. 

Have you considered clinical trials for Cold sores?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Cold sores, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

What is lysine?

Lysine is an essential building block for proteins (amino acids) that humans need to consume in their diet or supplements since the body cannot produce it. Lysine-rich diets are majorly sourced from meat and other protein products. Lysine has several uses and, if taken regularly, could reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups.

What does lysine do for cold sores?

Lysine can antagonize the production of arginine, an amino acid that helps the body to produce proteins and stimulates the spread of HSV-1 virus infection. The reduction of arginine production interferes with arginine absorption in the intestines, making it unavailable for herpes virus replication, possibly reducing the recurrence rate of cold sores.

How effective is lysine for cold sores?

One frequently asked question is how effective lysine is in treating cold sores. 

Conclusive research and truths are yet to be discovered on lysine actions and its overall effects in reducing cold sores infections. Despite the inconclusive nature of research, lysine is still considered a potentially effective remedy for cold sores due to its effect on arginine actions, such as slowing the pace of herpes simplex virus formation and spread. 

Applying lysine cream on cold sores and consuming lysine supplements can potentially speed up the healing process of cold sores.

Sources of lysine

Lysine is sourced from protein-rich food elements and diets which include:

  • Chicken

  • Pork

  • Soybeans

  • Fish

  • Beef

  • Turkey

  • Eggs

Risks of lysine

Lysine consumption in moderation and recommended amounts are safe for the general body functioning and enhancing its treatment uses. However, excessive lysine consumption may be harmful to the body as it alters the functioning of some organs, such as kidney dysfunction. 

To reduce the risks associated with lysine intake, it is important to contact your doctor to ensure safety, particularly for those under other treatments such as kidney dialysis.

Lysine for cold sore treatment on the skin

How it works

Lysine stimulates collagen formation responsible for the elasticity and firmness of the skin, which reduces blisters or cold sores. The positive effects on the skin make it essential in improving overall skin health.

Dosage for treating and preventing cold sores

It is recommended for one to consume 1,000mg of lysine daily in two divided doses for up to 12 months or 1,000mg taken three times daily for six months. 

To prevent cold sores from recurring, it is recommended that 500–1,248 mg be taken daily or 1,000mg be taken three times daily.

Lysine side effects

Lysine, if consumed in excess amounts, can result in various side effects, including: 

  • Diarrhea

  • Lower abdominal pains

  • Gallstones

  • Renal dysfunction and failure

  • Kidney problems

  • Cramps 

Pregnancy and other precautions

Precaution must be taken, particularly for pregnant and lactating women, when considering lysine supplements, as there are no adequate reports on lysine effects during pregnancy. As a precaution, it is important to consult your doctor before taking Lysine supplements.

Other cold sore treatment options

Other than lysine consumption, an individual with cold sores can try other treatment options, including:

  • Alcohol with hazel and vanilla extracts helps dry out the sores

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for cold sores and pain-relieving

  • Regular application of propolis ointment might help shorten the duration of an outbreak

Prevention of cold sores

To help prevent cold sores and reduce symptoms, prevention strategies include:

  • Avoid kissing and skin contact with infected persons

  • Avoid sharing personal items

  • Wash your hands after touching your cold sores

The lowdown

Cold sores are painful fluid-filled blisters resulting from the HSV virus and are visible on and around the lips area of infected persons. Lysine is used as a potential remedy for treating cold sores due to its potential action in reducing arginine absorption in the intestines, which reduces the replication of HSV. This can help reduce recurrences of cold sores and shorten healing time. 

By regulating the intake of lysine supplements and exploring other treatment options, it is possible to reduce the risks and side effects of lysine, including abdominal pains.

Have you considered clinical trials for Cold sores?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Cold sores, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

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