lysine | Integrative functional medicine blog

"Any fool can Know. The point is to understand" - Albert Einstein

If you get cold sores don't ever take this supplement.

do not eat

Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. This is in the same family of virus’s that causes chicken pox and shingles. Once we get these viruses they then go into the nerves and become dormant just waiting to rear their ugly heads.

Some common things that trigger outbreaks include hormonal changes, weak immune system, surgery, stress, as well as eating certain foods in high amounts such as seeds, nuts, including coconut, orange juice, wheat products, caffeine and some other foods.

For those that get cold sores many of you are aware that taking
high doses of lysine can be very helpful in stopping the spread and increasing the healing time for these often unsightly outbreaks. Lysine helps prevent the replication and growth of the virus.

So that brings us to the supplement that you should never, ok almost never or only take in low doses. This ingredient is often included in many supplements for heart health, cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, and exercising enhancing supplements. It is touted as increasing nitric oxide - which gives you that pumped feeling when you work out. The ingredient you need to watch out for is
L-arginine. It’s an amino acid found in many of these supplements.

The problem with L-arginine and cold sores or any virus for that matter is that L-arginine and Lysine share similar pathways in the body. They tend to compete with one another. So as arginine levels go up it pushes out the amount of lysine we get. Lysine inhibits the virus and arginine stimulates the virus. Now the research is not 100% conclusive, what research is anyway. But if you get cold sores, shingles or herpes outbreaks Im sure you will do anything to avoid these in the future. So avoid high arginine foods, decrease stress, live healthy, exercise, and take
some Lysine. A good daily dose is 1000 milligrams 2 times per day.

It just may prevent that next outbreak.

Oh and by the way, for a current outbreak of any virus. I recommend 2-3 thousand milligrams 3 times per day until its gone.

Until next time. I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen

Be healthy be happy.

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