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Lysine and Herpes - How Effective is This Supplement?

Lysine and Herpes - Does taking lysine supplements help prevent outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes?

It has been suspected that virus such as the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which causes cold sores and genital herpes, experience difficulty in spreading when exposed to lysine.

After researchers found out that virus can be prevented from multiplying in lab studies, they took their studies one step further. Animal studies were carried out and again, L-lysine proved to be able to slow down the spread of the herpes virus.

Because you can increase the amount of lysine in your system by taking supplements, it was thought that boosting the levels in your body would help to stop the virus in its track.

Indeed, one large study done in volunteers show positive health benefits of using lysine in preventing the spread of the herpes virus.

See Cold Sores Home Remedies for some useful tips on what you can do at home to fight off fever blisters.

The Research Studies

Several research studies were done by different groups wanting to find out if indeed using lysine supplements could actually work.

One study showed that volunteers taking lysine supplements reduced the number and severity of cold sores, canker sores and genital herpes that they experience.

This is a large study that recruited 1,543 volunteers. 80% of the volunteers reported significant benefits of taking the supplements.

In another study involving 52 volunteers taking 1,000 mg of L-lysine three times daily for 6 months, the subjects experienced a 2.4 times drop in HSV infections. The reported symptoms were also less severe and healing was faster as well.

As a note, this study was double-blinded and placebo-controlled, the "gold standard" for designing research studies.

What about shingles (herpes zoster)?

Although there are no studies done to see if taking lysine supplements could help treat shingles (herpes zoster), it is thought that it might be helpful as well since this virus reproduces similarly.

And for warts?

There are no studies to show if L-lysine could be useful in treating warts. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and in theory, it could also be effective in preventing the wart virus from spreading.

There are other natural remedies for warts that work better.

What about a cure for herpes infection?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes infection. The best that can be done is to get the virus to go into remission and never to reappear again.

How long does it take to get results?

Many people might have to very patient to see good results. In one study designed to look at how effective lysine is against cold sores, the subject took lysine supplements for a total of 1 and 1/2 year! In another study, volunteers took the supplement for 6 months.

Of course, you could expect to see results in a much shorter period of time, for example a week to a month. Everyone experiences different levels of benefits from taking lysine supplements.

For a FULL unbiased review complete with a list of all the reported health benefits, side effects and warnings, see Lysine.

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Related Articles and Resources for Lysine and Herpes

Lysine Health Benefits - Get The Facts on This Amino Acid

Foods High in Lysine

Return to Lysine Information Home Page

References for Lysine and Herpes
Revised: May 25, 2011

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