Is Lysine Good for Cold Sores?


Cold sores are small, flaccid, painful, fluid-filled blisters that appear on the lips, mouth or nose, which are caused by type 1 herpes simplex virus. After three or four days, usually, blisters rupture leaving behind a raw, red, weeping sore which will take another one week to heal. L-lysine supplement tablets are one of the treatment options for cold sore sufferers. L-lysine is one of the 20 amino acids which serves as the building blocks for proteins in the body. L-lysine is an essential amino acids, which is not produced by the body and must be taken through diet or in the form of supplements. This essential amino acid plays a key role in production of collagen which repairs the damaged skin tissue. It also helps in absorption of calcium and conversion of fats into energy.

L-lysine is used to make protein, which produces infection-fighting antibodies. In cold sores, the L-lysine supplement tablets inhibit the spread of type 1 herpes simplex virus and subsides the infection. Although, l-lysine occurs naturally in foods such as red meat, milk, cheese, fish and legumes, the amount of L-lysine required to treat cold sores exceeds the amount obtained from foods. Therefore, to treat cold sores, it is recommended to take 3 grams of L-lysine per day in the form of supplements. The total dose can be divided into three smaller doses and taken three time a day. For example, L-lysine tablets of 1000 mg can be taken thee times a day. As a topical application, L-lysine ointment can be applied to the cold sores which resolves the infection in three to six days. Combination of both, oral L-lysine tablets and topical L-lysine ointment helps to subside infection faster.

Cold sores often recur, because like other infections, type 1 herpes simplex virus is not completely eliminated by the body defenses. L-lysine supplements also have been used to prevent cold sores. Intake of 3 grams of L-lysine per day for six months reduces frequency, intensity and duration of cold sore outbreaks significantly.


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