foods high in lysine help to prevent and treat herpes simplex
infections such as cold sores and genital herpes?
This is a commonly asked question ever since it was discovered that taking lysine supplements could help to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes simplex viral (HSV) infections.
The typical dose is 1 to 3 grams three times daily to help with herpes simplex infections.
But how can you get this equivalent amount in food sources?
See the table below for the answers...
It is also suspected that eating foods rich in L-arginine might help the virus survive better.
When possible, cut back on foods high in arginine. These include beer, grain cereals, chocolate, seeds, nuts and peas. So the best option is to eat foods high in lysine and low in arginine.
But keep in mind that research data suggests that high levels of lysine is more important when it comes to stopping the virus from spreading.
The detailed table below lists the amount of lysine found in common foods.
It will also provide details on the amount of lysine relative to arginine.
More lysine and less arginine is better but focus on getting more lysine first.
Don't force yourself to eat foods high in lysine if you don't like them. Why? Because after a short while, you will probably give up.
30 g = 1 oz.
|Lys (mg)||Arg (mg)||Ratio
|Milk, skimmed||245 (1 cup)||663||302||2.2|
|Salmon||85 (1 oz)||1550||1000||1.6|
|Tuna in Water||165||4480||2920||1.5|
|Oats, Cereals||245 (1 cup)||1654||2056||0.8|
|Orange Juice||245 (1 cup)||22||117||0.2|
|Note: There are some variations in the number based on the specific subtype of foods. For example, low fat plain yogurt has 1060 mg of lysine whereas skim plain yogurt has 1160 mg. But the ratio of lysine to arginine is the same at 3.0.|
From the table above, foods types list near the top has a much higher ratio of lysine to arginine and would be a good diet choice for those suffering from herpes simplex viral infections.
Yogurt and cheese give you a lot of lysine. As a matter of fact, a cup of yogurt (about 250 grams) will give you over 700 mg of lysine.
As another example, 85 g of salmon (about 3 oz.) gives you 1,500 mg of lysine.
Compare this to the recommended dose of 1,000 mg of L-lysine three times daily and you will quickly see that eating a 3 oz. serving of salmon will give you the equivalent amount as taking 1 and 1/2 pill of L-lysine supplement (assuming 1,000 mg per pill).
There is some evidence to suggest that what you eat can have an positive or negative effect on how the virus thrives in your body.
Eating foods high in lysine could be a first step to controlling the viral infection naturally.
By giving yourself the proper mix of foods in your diet, you stand a better chance to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes viral infections.
For a FULL unbiased review complete with a list of all the reported health benefits, side effects and warnings, see Health Benefits of Lysine.
Revised: June 10, 2012