Does Lysine Work for Cold Sores?


 1 out of 3 people are affected by cold sores, but not everyone wants to choose the medication route. Home remedies are a thing of the past, for the most part, as most people choose pharmaceuticals over simple and easy nutritional answers.  Lysine is one of those simple and easy nutritional answers.

What is a Cold Sore?

Cold sores or fever blisters begin with small, ugly little lesions on the face or inside the mouth that produce a burning, painful or itching sensation and leave you with crusty, scabby, dried blisters that can last up to several weeks and may produce scarring.

Cold sores can commonly appear on the lips, chin, cheeks, inside the nostrils, groin region, buttocks, and is easily transferable and can be very contagious, even to yourself.  Touching your cold sore and then touching another part of your body can spread the virus, so make sure to always wash your hands.

Most of the time the cold sore virus remains dormant, deep inside the root of the nerve, until it is triggered to activate the virus. Some people can carry the virus but never have an outbreak, some have only a few outbreaks a year, while others seem to be in a constant battle with trying to keep the virus at bay.  Once infected, the virus stays with you for life.

What is Lysine

Lysine is an amino acid that our body does not naturally make, so we need to either take a supplement or attain it through our diet.  Lysine helps the body absorb calcium, a prevention for osteoporosis, and plays an essential role in the growth of new collagen, which is needed for bones, skin, tendons, and cartilage.  Lysine also is pivotal in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy.

Lysine also helps fight and stave off cold sores.  The thought process is, and what scientists are studying, lysine helps to repress arginine, which is another amino acid found in many of the same foods as lysine and is essential to the herpes virus to replicate and become active.

According to HC Support Network, “

Taken in adequate dosages, this amino acid has been scientifically proven to “slow down” and retard the growth of the herpes virus, as well as inhibit viral replication.  Viral replication is when the virus grows and multiplies in larger numbers. Studies have shown that supplements of Lysine can reduce the frequency and intensity of herpes and cold sore outbreaks.

The outcome is likely to be improved if a supplement is taken that contains Lysine along with other nutrients that are indicated for herpes, such as Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids and Zinc, which have been proven in Clinical Trials to improve healing time and reduce the frequency of episodes.These nutrients work cohesively together and along with Lysine can help to suppress outbreaks and strengthen the skin.”

“Lysine is a natural supplement that, if taken at a high enough dose, works to restrict the herpes virus’ without posing any serious health risks or side effects.” It appears that Lysine not only helps to slow down the virus but also ” inhibits viral replication”, which is the cold sore getting bigger and multiplying.

My Experience

Do you get Cold Sores? I did all the time, especially when glutened. Before I started taking Lysine, I used mainly a concoction of alcohol and Abreva; at $20+ a pop, in such a small container, it really starts to add up for someone on a budget.  Lysine has pretty much ended the Abreva buying spree.

I can attest personally to the magical powers of lysine on cold sores. I take it 1000-2000mg a day and when I feel an outbreak coming on, I will take up to 8000mg a day for the next couple days.  I also keep the spot covered with a light cover-up makeup, the less air that gets to it, the less time it will take to heal. 

Now, I am not a doctor and this is just what has proven to work for me over prescribed medication.  Before taking any advice from this article, please consult a physician.

Triggers for Outbreaks:

  • fatigue
  • stress
  • menstruation
  • exposure to sun and wind 
  • chocolate
  • nuts
  • whole-grain cereals
  • gelatin
  • oats

Here are some Lysine Rich Foods:

– Chicken/Turkey
– Tuna & different types of Whitefish
– Game Meat
– Crab, Shrimp & Lobster
– Peas & Lentils
– Organic Soy
– Almonds
– Parmesan Cheese




Tags: arginine, CELIAC DISEASE, Cold Sores, Gluten-free diet, Lysine

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    • Steph
    • January 23, 2021

    Lysine works. I get nose blisters and I used to get them all the time until I found out about lysine. Now I maybe have one episode per year and I take lysine for 2 weeks and they clear up and go away and stay away!

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