The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores which form on the skin surrounding the lips. In addition to being severe, this infection can persist for up to 21 days if treatment is delayed or not initiated before the formation of blisters. The viral infection is incurable, but the lesions can be managed using a number of drugs.
Antiviral medications, together with lysine, are efficient at reducing the duration of cold sores from 21 days down to 6 days. This demonstrates that Lysine has a vital role to play in managing lesions caused by herpes simplex. Animal proteins and proteins from some plants like soybeans are great sources of lysine. Apart from diet, a patient can also benefit from taking nutritional supplements, besides applying topical creams containing lysine.
Lysine disrupts the uptake of arginine from ingested food by intestinal lining, rendering it inadequate for use by viruses. As a result of this deficiency, viral multiplication is reduced as well as the number of recurrences of cold sores. For treatment to be effective, the patient has to take at least 2g per day of lysine. Vitamin C, together with zinc, is used to supplement cold sore therapy and improve treatment outcomes. People with heart problems, diseases of the bones and those pregnant or breastfeeding should seek medical advice before using products containing lysine.
Cold sores are painful lesions around the mouth that can take up to 21 days to heal if treatment does not start off. In addition to antiviral drugs, foods and dietary supplements rich in lysine improve the process of healing. Lysine both prevents the multiplication of the viruses by stopping the absorption of arginine from food and shortens the period of illness. However, lysine is likely to adversely affect people with heart and bone problems, as well as those who are pregnant or still breastfeeding their babies.