Lysine for Cold Sores: Natural Cold Sore Prevention

Cold sore prevention is probably more important than you might realize; they can be linked to such serious conditions as Alzheimer’s disease. Natural treatments can help you get rid of your cold sores for good.

Lysine for Cold Sores: Natural Cold Sore Prevention Could Decrease Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

In many cases, cold sores are at most a cause of discomfort and embarrassment. And while they are a nuisance that can interfere with daily life, most people don’t think of them as serious or dangerous. But cold sore prevention is more important than we probably realize. For example, researchers have linked the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores, to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

With cold sore treatment more important than ever, you’ll want to use natural strategies to get rid of your cold sores for good. Using lysine for cold sores is a safe and natural way to keep the virus that causes your symptoms dormant.

What are cold sores?

Cold sores are lesions on and near the lips caused by the herpes simplex virus. Infection with this virus is extremely common and it can be easily transmitted between people. After you are infected, the virus stays in your body, lying dormant in the nerves that are connected to the skin. Occasionally, the virus can become active again, travel to your skin, and cause an outbreak.[1] Many people who are infected with the virus don’t ever have symptoms, but if you deal with recurring cold sores, preventing these outbreaks is important.

Does lysine for cold sores work?

One of the essential amino acids, lysine, can inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus, shortening the duration of outbreaks.[5] The virus is very dependent on another amino acid, arginine, for reproduction. Laboratory studies show that lysine can inhibit the growth promoting effects of arginine by competing with it; this allows lysine to slow down the reproduction of the virus.[6]

While some studies have been inconclusive, there is a growing body of evidence showing that lysine can be effective for decreasing the frequency of outbreaks, and possibly for decreasing the severity and duration of outbreaks when they occur.[6]

How much lysine do you need to prevent cold sores?

In clinical studies, dosages of L-lysine between 500 and 3,000 mg daily have been effective and well-tolerated.[1] Try the lowest dose first to see if it helps heal your cold sores and increase if necessary.

The link between cold sores and Alzheimer’s disease

One reason to take cold sore treatment seriously is that recent studies show that people infected with the herpes simplex virus are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.[2] Specifically, the reactivation of this virus is most dangerous.[3]

Studies have found that the herpes simplex virus can travel into the human brain, reactivate there, and cause damage. It can invade brain cells, cause a build-up of beta-amyloid proteins (which are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease), and promote inflammation. The virus is likely to periodically reactivate in the brain during times of stress, inflammation, or when the immune system is down, leading to damage and cognitive impairment.[4]

This information makes natural cold sore treatment more important than ever. Lysine can help you to get rid of your bothersome and uncomfortable symptoms, while protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s at the same time.

Share your experience

Share your experience with cold sores in the comments section below. Do you have any tips for treating cold sores? Have you ever tried L-lysine?

[1] Harv Womens Health Watch. 2007 Mar;14(7):8.

[2] Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Oct 7. pii: S1552-5260(14)02770-8.

[3] Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Jul 17. pii: S1552-5260(14)02421-2.

[4] Front Aging Neurosci. 2014 Aug 11;6:202.

[5] Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):123-7.

[6] Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2001 Feb 15;58(4):298-300, 304.

Originally published in 2014, this blog has been updated.

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Chelsea Clark

Chelsea Clark is a writer with a passion for science, human biology, and natural health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology with an emphasis in neuroscience … Read More

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  • The possible connection between cold sores and Alzheimer’s makes me want to learn much more. Will you be covering this more fully soon?

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