We all know about cold sores. For those infected with this virus, most of the time an outbreak happens when you least expect it. Cold sores are caused by the HSV-1 virus (herpes simplex virus). It leaves you with blisters anywhere around the mouth area. It is a painful visitor that is dormant in your body, but can get activated and cause cold sores and blisters. It spreads with physical contact and so is a contagious virus.
An amino acid called arginine encourages the growth of the HSV-1 virus. Lysine (L-lysine monohydrochloride ) is one of the eight vital amino acids. It cannot be synthesized by the human body, so it has to be included in the diet. It is mostly found in vegetables, chicken, fish, read meat, milk, cheese, legumes, etc., however, there are also doses of L-lysine for cold sores that can be taken for relief. Studies have proved that it prevents the frequency of the cold sores, reduces the developing and growth of the virus, and suppresses the outbreak of fever blisters. It is an effective and well-known treatment, and many people use it as a part of treatment for cold sores.
Lysine Treatment for Cold Sores
Lysine and arginine are stored in the same cells in our body, and when there is an imbalance in these two amino acids, the larger storage of arginine triggers the outbreak of a cold sore. Hence, to prevent cold sores, the storage of lysine should be more than that of arginine. Lysine represses the metabolism of arginine. Lysine supplements are therefore recommended for preventing cold sores.
They are available in tablets and capsule forms that can be taken orally. It is also available in a cream form, however, applying it topically has not been as effective as consuming it in diet form. Lysine is a large molecule which cannot be absorbed by the skin effectively. It will only benefit when it is absorbed in the cells, that is possible when absorbed internally through a diet.
With studies and research, it is observed that the common dosage of lysine is between 1000 - 1250 mg in one day, when the cold sore is active. For a daily intake, a therapeutic dose of 500 mg is recommended. Sometimes, even a higher dose of 1500 - 3000 mg can be helpful if a person has a frequent occurrence of cold sores, but it is advisable to take these only after consulting a health care expert. Taking these supplements between meals on an empty stomach is advisable. Also, when combined with vitamin C, zinc and bioflavonoids, lysine is more effective.
It should not be consumed with milk or milk products, as these may suppress the effect. Though lysine has little side effects, being one of the essential amino acids in the body, you may still consider taking medical advice. High dosages of lysine may cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and other gastrointestinal problems. Along with these supplements, a balanced diet is essential. Avoid foods like chocolate, peanuts, almonds, nuts and seeds, soya beans, oats, and whole-wheat products that are high in arginine.
When taking lysine supplements, make sure they are made from natural lysine containing vitamin C and zinc, and avoid the ones made synthetically in a laboratory. Also opt for supplements that do not contain artificial coloring, flavors, animal products, and also gelatin that is high in arginine amino acid.
Strictly consult your health expert when taking lysine during pregnancy or nursing, or if you are taking antibiotics like Tobramycin (Nebcin, TOBI), Paromomycin (Humatin), Gentamicin (Garamycin), Neomycin (Neo-Tabs, Mycifradin, Neo-fradin), Streptomycin, Kanamycin (Kantrex), Netilmicin (Netromycin) and Amikacin (Amikin), as these medicines when combined with high dosages of lysine may be highly toxic.
This covers all about lysine dosage for cold sores. Make sure you combine efforts like diet and exercise with lysine supplements, for discouraging cold sore shadows!