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Lysine and cold sores.

What causes cold sores and fever blisters? The painful and unsightly sores that erupt around the mouth are manifestations of the herpes simplex virus that also causes genital herpes and herpes infections of the skin.

The herpes simplex virus is probably acquired during infancy, and more than 75 percent of the adult population carry it in their skin cells, saliva, or other body secretions. In most people, the virus remains latent until stimulated into action by pneumonia, colds, exposure to sunburn, upset stomach, or dietary imbalances.

A herpes simplex infection first appears as a painful, slight, red area on or near the lips. Within 24 hours, tiny blisters form with clear fluid inside. Overnight, the fluid turns milky. Then blisters break and crust over, leaving a scab that persists for several days.

Many cold sore sufferers have found they can partially reverse cold sores, or even prevent them from forming by supplementing their diet with the amino acid L-lysine.

The late Dr. Richard Griffith, a professor of medicine at Indiana University, advocated a daily dosage of 500 mg per 10 kg body weight of L-lysine to treat herpes simplex infection and 500 mg per day to prevent recurrences.

Lysine is taken to prevent fever blisters after too much arginine has been consumed. Arginine is prevalent in nuts, seeds, grains, and chocolate. Some extremely sensitive people can bring on a herpes virus attack simply by adding a few nuts to a salad or by eating a candy bar. To stop the herpes virus, Dr. Griffith advocated decreasing arginine while increasing lysine intake.

Various doctors around the country are now using lysine to treat herpes simplex. The bulk of evidence for lysine's effectiveness comes from testimony by chronic cold sore victims who once had to suffer through the whole course of the infection, but now obtain early relief by taking L-lysine at the first sign that an outbreak is occurring.
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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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