Lysine for Cold Sores

Does Lysine Help Get Rid of Cold Sores?

January 24, 2019

Lysine is one of the building blocks for a protein known as an Amino Acid. As one of the essential Amino Acids, people are advised to take Lysine for building up their immune system and their muscles. Lysine can also help in blocking out stress receptors, allowing people to calm down. For those who have bone problems, Lysine can increase the body’s capacity to absorb calcium. However, Lysine has another use. A common “medical” use would be against Cold Sores.

While there are some medical debates if Lysine can cure Cold Sores, there are some visible effects. Some visible effects include the slowing of the development of the cold sores.

How does it slow the development of cold sores?

Cold Sores are a common symptom of the Herpes Simplex virus. In that particular virus, it starts creating a large amount of Arginine. Arginine is also an amino acid but not one of the essential ones. The former is also present in a lot of other food such as chocolate and red meat. Which is why, if someone has Herpes Simplex virus, they’re advised not to eat food high in Arginine and instead eat food with Lysine.

What Lysine does is it prevents your intestine from absorbing Arginine which is used by the Herpes Simplex virus. The virus needs something known as Nitrous Oxide which helps expand the blood vessels to improve blood flow. But when you have a virus, that’s the last thing you need. The Lysine will then block the receptors for Nitrous Oxide and give your body a chance to fight off the virus.

Unfortunately, though it doesn’t exactly cure the virus. It can only slow down the recurrence so it needs another form of medicine to help fight Herpes.

How does one take Lysine matter?

Well, it would if you’re about to eat topical skin cream. Lysine can be taken in different ways especially when fighting against cold sores. They can be done topically (which is the normal case) where people just massage some cold Lysine cream on their skin where the blister is. This helps stop people who have a high tendency to fidget to stop touching it. Or, for those who are highly anxious and nervous, the Lysine topical cream will prevent them from noticing the cold sore because the nerves will be numbed. Best to have topical cream cold as it will numb the nerves and you won’t feel much of the pain.

Can Lysine creams be bought off the counter?

It depends on what kind of medicine your doctor prescribes. Some medicines require prescriptions which you need to visit the doctor to get. However, some forms of Lysine can be expensive. Thus, some people often try changing their diet instead in order to compensate and slow down the recurrence of the cold sores. Some foods that are rich in Lysine include:

  • Spirulina
  • Yohgurt
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Codfish
  • Eggs
  • Soybean
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Pork
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa

This can help along the process of keeping the cold sores at bay while your antiviral medicine fights Herpes.

Does Lysine have side effects?

Anything taken in overdose will cause problems. Lysine is not exempted from that rule. If one overdoses on Lysine, it can cause a variety of symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Kidney misfunction
  • Gallstones

Taking Lysine also when one is pregnant is not a good idea. Lysine can increase your body’s calcium absorption which can cause your organs to calcify and also make your bones brittle due to an overdose of calcium.

Lysine for cold sores


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SORES, C. (2016). Lysine. last modified.

Gaby, A. R. (2006). Natural remedies for Herpes simplex. Alternative medicine review, 11(2), 93.

Andreakos, G. (2002). .S. Patent No. 6,362,225. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.