Food With Lysine For Herpes


Food With Lysine For Herpes. It’s no secret that Lysine can be extremely effective for managing the symptoms of herpes.  A new study suggests that the amino acid can reduce viral shedding by as much as 50% in some people, so this is a very exciting find. But is Lysine safe? And what precautions should you take if you want to try taking this supplement? In this article I’ll address both of these questions so that you know what you need to do to get started with lysine for herpes

Food With Lysine For Herpes

You can buy lysine supplements, but those with liver or kidney disease should not take them without consulting a doctor. Pregnant and lactating women should use caution. Lysine supplements can also interfere with one type of antibiotic (Aminoglycoside).

Another reason to pass on lysine supplements is that taking a single amino acid in supplement form can negatively affect metabolism. It can also put a burden on the kidneys and affect growth in children.

While there are numerous warnings about taking lysine as a supplement, lysine from food sources is considered safe. Some people seek out spirulina and fenugreek seeds to boost their lysine intake, but your local supermarket has many sources of lysine, including these:

1.  Meat and poultry

Beef, pork, and poultry are all good sources of lysine. To promote heart health, most people should choose lean cuts and keep serving sizes small. 

2.  Cheese

Almost all cheeses are high in protein and calcium but also high in fat and cholesterol. The cheese with the most lysine is parmesan. Just one tablespoon of grated parmesan provides 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat.  

3.  Fish

Many health experts favor fish as a source of healthy protein. Cod and sardines are especially high in lysine.

4.  Eggs

Eggs are an inexpensive protein source, although they are high in cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that most adults can eat an egg a day without harm. 

5.  Soybeans

Vegans and vegetarians need not worry. Tofu is a great source of lysine. If you aren’t a tofu fan, you can also get lysine from soy protein and soybean flour. 

6. Legumes

Legumes are another protein powerhouse, especially for those on plant-based diets. Choose from beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and more.

Why You Need Lysine

Since there are 21 different amino acids, tracking how much you are getting of each one would be a difficult task. If you are getting adequate protein, you are probably getting enough lysine. Adults need about 7 grams (g) of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight, so a person weighing 160 pounds would need 56g.

 Lysine plays several roles in the body, including two very important ones:

  1. It helps the body create collagen, which is present in bones and connective tissues such as skin and cartilage.
  2. It produces carnitine, which converts fatty acids into energy in a process that also lowers cholesterol.

 Lysine is sometimes combined with another amino acid, arginine. Scientists say that the two amino acids use the same pathways in the body. Therefore, taking arginine might lower your lysine levels.  

As an essential amino acid, lysine is important to health. Although evidence is inconclusive, it has been used for these purposes:

1.  Muscle Strength

Athletes have used some amino acids, including lysine, in supplement form to increase muscular strength. Research has failed to prove that lysine improves muscle strength more than strength training alone. One study of older adults showed that taking a combination of three amino acids, including lysine, improved lean body mass.

2.  Bone Health

Lysine can help the body absorb calcium, and it can reduce the amount of calcium lost in your urine. Researchers have theorized that lysine could prevent osteoporosis, but they have found no evidence that this is true.

3.  Mouth Health

Lysine supplements have been used as a treatment for cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus and for canker sores. Researchers have not found conclusive evidence that lysine is effective for these problems. 

4. Anti-anxiety Effects

Some studies have looked at whether supplements of lysine and arginine could reduce anxiety. In two studies, the subjects showed reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

what is L-lysine good for

L-lysine is an essential amino acid essential for tissue growth and repair. Learn about 10 health benefits of lysine and how to obtain it from food

L-lysine is an essential amino acid essential for tissue growth and repair. Since your body cannot produce lysine on its own, it needs to be obtained through diet or supplements.

10 health benefits of lysine

Here are the 10 health benefits of lysine.

  1. Vital for proper growth: Lysine produces carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy. Carnitine carries long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria to produce energy and transports the generated toxins outside the cells.
  2. Promotes wound healing: Lysine speeds up wound healing and is required for collagen formation—a protein that gives structure to the skin and bones.
  3. Prevents herpes simplex virus (HSV): Lysine may help prevent eruptions of cold sores and herpes affecting the genital area. It has antiviral activity and prevents HSV replication.
  4. Prevents osteoporosis: Because lysine helps the body absorb calcium, the amount of calcium lost in urine is minimized. Absorption of calcium may help prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
  5. Boosts athletic performance: Lysine, when taken as a protein supplement, may help athletes’ muscles recover from stress.
  6. Increases muscle mass: A study has shown that lysine may help with muscle loss and enhance strength in older women.
  7. Relieves stress: Research suggests that consuming wheat with added lysine reduces stress and anxiety. Lysine may help reduce cortisol levels in women, and in combination with medications, may be beneficial in controlling symptoms of schizophrenia.
  8. Pain management: Lysine serves as an anti-inflammatory agent through inhibition of a compound called cyclooxygenase.
  9. Diabetes management: Studies have shown that lysine may be beneficial in reducing blood sugar, although there isn’t sufficient evidence to prove this claim.
  10. Reduces blood pressure: A study that included 50 adults with lysine deficiency and high blood pressure concluded that lysine supplements reduced blood pressure.

What happens if you don’t get enough lysine?

Most people get sufficient lysine through their diet. However, athletes and people on restricted diets may require more lysine. You may experience the following symptoms if your body doesn’t have enough lysine:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Slow growth
  • Anemia
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

What are the best sources of lysine?

Good sources of lysine are usually foods rich in protein, which include:

  1. Certain fish, such as cod and sardines
  2. Eggs
  3. Soybeans, particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour
  4. Spirulina
  5. Fenugreek seed
  6. Meat, specifically red meat, pork, and poultry
  7. Cheese, particularly parmesan
  8. Brewer’s yeast
  9. Beans and other legumes
  10. Dairy products

Avoid these foods if you have herpes

This video is meant to expand your general knowledge about living a healthy life and is NOT a substitute for seeking medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before making changes in your health practices, diet and self-care.

In this video, Dr. Berg, a chiropractor specialising in healthy ketosis and Intermittent Fasting goes over the foods you may wish either to avoid or consume if you have type 1 or 2 herpes.

Herpes simplex is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Infections are categorised based on the part of the body infected.

If you have it, what you should try to do is avoid foods high in arginine. Instead, you would want to consume foods high in L-lysine, an amino acid, because it can potentially help put this virus into remission.

The virus itself can be triggered by too much stress, too much sun, or a low immune system. About 95% of the adult population has this virus. It can go into and out of remission, depending on various factors.

The top foods to avoid if you have herpes, include:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Berries
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Gelatin
  • Eggs

Foods safe to eat if you have herpes, include:

  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Cheese
  • Veggies
  • Sprouts

If you need to eat foods like nuts, seeds, or berries, you may wish to take L-lysine at the same time. If the condition is intense, you may wish to take 3,000mg of L-lysine. As a preventative, you would need a much smaller amount.


Amino acid K; L-lysine

Lysine, or L-lysine, is an essential amino acid, meaning it is necessary for human health, but the body cannot make it. You have to get lysine from food or supplements. Amino acids like lysine are the building blocks of protein. Lysine is important for proper growth, and it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping lower cholesterol. Lysine appears to help the body absorb calcium, and it plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a substance important for bones and connective tissues including skin, tendons, and cartilage.

Most people get enough lysine in their diet. Although athletes, burn patients, and vegans who do not eat beans may need more. If you do not have enough lysine, you may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slow growth
  • Anemia
  • Reproductive disorders

For vegans, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are the best sources of lysine.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV)

Some studies suggest that taking lysine on a regular basis may help prevent outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes. Others show no improvement. Lysine has antiviral effects by blocking the activity of arginine, which promotes HSV replication. One review found that oral lysine is more effective atpreventing an HSV outbreak than it is at reducing the severity and duration of an outbreak. One study found that taking lysine at the beginning of a herpes outbreak did not reduce symptoms. Most experts believe that lysine does not improve the healing of cold sores. But supplementation may reduce recurrences or improve symptoms.Osteoporosis

Lysine helps the body absorb calcium and reduces the amount of calcium that is lost in urine. Since calcium is crucial for bone health, some researchers think lysine may help prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Lab studies suggest that lysine in combination with L-arginine (another amino acid) makes bone-building cells more active and enhances production of collagen. But no studies have examined whether lysine helps prevent osteoporosis in humans.Athletic performance

Athletes sometimes use lysine as a protein supplement. Some studies suggest lysine helps muscle tissue recover after stress.

Dietary Sources

Good sources of lysine include foods that are rich in protein, such as:

  • Meat, specifically red meat, pork, and poultry
  • Cheese, particularly parmesan
  • Certain fish, such as cod and sardines
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans, particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour
  • Spirulina
  • Fenugreek seed

Brewer’s yeast, beans and other legumes, and dairy products also contain lysine.

Available Forms

Lysine is available in tablets, capsules, creams, and liquids, and is usually sold in the L-lysine form.

How to Take It


Speak with your pediatrician regarding appropriate dosages. Dosage is usually adjusted based on body weight.


Dosing depends on different factors. Talk to your doctor to determine the right dose for you.


Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Lysine can increase the absorption of calcium. Use caution when taking large amounts of calcium while supplementing with lysine.

While lysine in the diet is considered safe, excessive doses may cause gallstones. There have also been reports of renal dysfunction, including Fanconi syndrome and renal failure.

Talk to your doctor before taking supplemental lysine if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Possible Interactions

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications or supplements, you should not use lysine supplements without first talking to your doctor.

Arginine: Arginine and lysine share common pathways in the body. High levels of arginine may lower lysine levels in the body.

Aminoglycoside antibiotics (gentamicin, neomycin, streptomycin, etc.): Use with lysine may increase the risk of nephrotoxicity.

What is lysine?

Lysine is an amino acid the body needs for many different functions and processes. It’s one of the essential amino acids, which means the body can’t create it and it has to be consumed from nutrients in the diet. The other essential amino acids include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. 

The body uses amino acids to make proteins, begin reactions, and create other substances the body needs. Often, amino acids are referred to as the building blocks of protein (Meenu Singh, 2011).

L-lysine is the most common form of lysine found in supplements and foods. This form is the preferred type for making protein. 

What does lysine do?

Lysine is used for many different purposes in the body, including (Meenu Singh, 2011):

  • Used to create proteins
  • Promotes cell and muscle growth
  • Used to create carnitine
  • Assists in transporting fat and lipids between cells
  • Promotes collagen growth
  • Used in creating enzymes, antibodies, and hormones
  • Aids calcium absorption

Lysine benefits

With the many different functions of lysine, it should come as no surprise this essential amino acid has numerous health benefits. Consuming adequate amounts of lysine through your diet or dietary supplements may provide potential health benefits like:

May prevent and treat cold sores

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Once you’re exposed to the HSV-1 virus, it always remains in the body, but it usually stays dormant and doesn’t cause any symptoms. 

Sometimes, the virus will become triggered and cause cold sores to develop. Typically, a cold sore will clear up within 7–10 days without treatment. Still, the sores can be uncomfortable and annoying, so it helps to find treatments that help them clear more quickly. How to get rid of cold sores as quickly as possible

Herpes Last updated: Sep 16, 2019 6 min read

Taking a lysine supplement may help to shorten the duration, reduce the severity, and even prevent cold sore outbreaks. It’s believed that lysine may help stop HSV-1 from reproducing so that it becomes inactive again (Thein, 1984). 

One study found that taking 1,000 milligrams (mg) of lysine daily and keeping blood levels of lysine above 165 nmol/milliliter significantly decreased the number of cold sore symptoms (Thein, 1984). Another study found an ointment with lysine, zinc, and other herbs fully resolved symptoms for 40% of participants after 3 days of treatment and 87% after 6 days (Singh, 2005). 

However, not all research supports the effectiveness of lysine supplements for cold sores. A 2017 study found doses of 1,000 mg per day weren’t effective for treating cold sores. But they did find that doses over 3,000 mg per day may improve people’s experience of symptoms (Mailoo, 2017). 

May reduce blood pressure

Early research suggests lysine supplements may help lower blood pressure. Another 2017 study tested the effects of lysine supplements on adults with hypertension (high blood pressure). The results showed that the supplements helped lower pressure for people not consuming enough lysine through their diet (Vuvor, 2017). More research is needed to determine whether this benefit could be seen for people already consuming an adequate amount of lysine in their diet. 

May help manage diabetes

Diabetes is a medical condition where the amount of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream is too high. Uncontrolled diabetes may cause health complications like increased infections, wounds that don’t heal well, vision problems, kidney disease, and changes to nerve and blood vessel health.

A small 2017 study found that taking lysine helped slow down the increase in blood sugar after eating (Ullrich, 2017). If this effect is confirmed in larger studies, it could help keep blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day. Another study suggests lysine supplement may help manage some complications of diabetes by lowering the risk for infection (Mirmiranpour, 2016). 

May support healthy muscles

Because lysine plays a role in cell turnover and growth, researchers believe it may support healthy muscle mass and strength. One study found that over 8 weeks, a high lysine diet had a small positive effect on increasing the participants’ muscle strength (Unni, 2012). 

Another study found that adequate lysine, calcium, and vitamin D levels are essential for muscle mass, bone health, and lower body fat mass for young adult women (Aggarwal, 2020).  Vitamin D deficiency: symptoms, treatment, and prevention

May reduce anxiety

Adequate lysine intake may also be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety levels. 

A 2004 study found that fortifying lysine-deficient people’s diets with lysine reversed their deficiency and helped significantly reduce anxiety and lower stress (Smriga, 2004). 

Another study tested the combined effects of L-arginine and L-lysine supplements. They found the supplements helped lower cortisol levels, mental stress, and anxiety (Smriga, 2007). 

May promote healthy bones

As people get older, their risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis increases. Calcium deficiencies lead to bone loss, so adequate calcium intake has long been promoted as an essential step for preventing and slowing age related bone loss and osteoporosis. 

Research suggests that lysine plays a role in calcium absorption and may help support healthy bones (Civitelli, 1992). Other studies suggest lysine promotes bone growth and collagen production, which may help support bone strength and density (Jennings, 2016).

Symptoms of a lysine deficiency

Without enough lysine in your diet, you could develop a lysine deficiency. Without enough lysine, the body will have problems creating proteins and completing other essential functions for your health. 

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a lysine deficiency (Civitelli, 1992; Lekkarinen, 2003; Vuvor, 2017; Yin, 2017):

  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability
  • Slowed growth
  • Red eyes
  • Nausea
  • Anemia
  • Reproductive issues
  • High blood pressure

Anemia: symptoms, causes, types, treatment

Foods high in lysine

The following are some high lysine foods (USDA, 2019):

  • Red meats (beef and pork)
  • Poultry
  • Dairy products, like yogurt and cheese
  • Cod
  • Sardines
  • Effs
  • Soybeans
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Beans and legumes
  • Tuna
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu

Lysine supplements

A nutrition supplement may help support adequate lysine intake if you’re unable to meet your needs through your diet alone. L-lysine is the form most commonly used in dietary supplements. 

The recommendations for how much lysine to take vary based on the studies and use. A safety assessment completed in 2019 found that most people can tolerate up to 6,000 mg per day without any adverse effects (Hayamizu, 2019). 

However, this amount is higher than most studies tested, which often tested doses ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 mg of lysine per day. 

Consult with a health care professional for medical advice before starting any dietary supplements to find out what dose may be appropriate for you. How do vitamin D and calcium work together?

Lysine side effects

There are few known side effects of taking a lysine supplement. However, any dietary supplement can cause side effects like:

  • Nausea, vomiting, bloating, and upset stomach
  • Gas, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Headaches

Still, more long-term research is needed to fully understand the effects of taking a lysine supplement. We don’t know much about how lysine supplements may affect a person while pregnant or breastfeeding, so it’s generally recommended to limit supplement intake while pregnant unless approved by your healthcare provider. 

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