Lysine is an essential amino acid, one that you need to get from food. Some evidence suggests that supplemental lysine may be able to help prevent herpes infections (cold sores and genital herpes). Most people need about 1 g of lysine per day. The requirement may be greater for athletes and people recovering from major injuries, especially burns. The richest sources of lysine are animal proteins such as meat and poultry, but it is also found in dairy products, eggs, and beans. A typical therapeutic dosage of lysine for herpes infections is 1 g three times daily. If they are found to contain large amounts should be avoided at all cost!
Vitetta L, Coulson S, Beck SL, Gramotnev H, Du S, Lewis S. Although some are promising, none of these studies are large enough to give conclusive answers. DESIGN: A double blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. SETTING: One-hundred and twenty-six participants matched by age, BMI, dietary and physical parameters with self-reported frequent upper respiratory tract symptoms and infections were randomly assigned to receive 600 mg of Lf/IgF or a placebo daily for 90 days. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES AND RESULTS: A total of 90 participants (47 receiving the active and 43 placebo) completed the 90 day trial and 15 completed 45 days participation (6 in the active and 9 in the placebo group). The total number of colds recorded over the study period was 48 for the treatment group versus 112 for the placebo group (p < 0.001). The significant trend was retained when the data was corrected for medications returned (p < 0.001) and for guessing treatment allocations (p < 0.001).
Non-parametric analysis demonstrated that the total number of cold-associated symptoms reported by participants that received Lf/IgF was significantly less than those in the placebo group (p < 0.05). Although lysine is an essential part of the diet, the safety of concentrated lysine supplements has not been well studied. In animal studies, high dosages have caused gallstones and elevated cholesterol levels, 15,16 so you may want to use caution when using lysine if you have either of these problems. For example, a recent clinical trial examined the effects of a topical treatment containing L-lysine on wounds infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We have evaluated the potential of bovine lactoferrin and lactoferricin for their ability to prevent and/or treat genital HSV-2 infection in mice. We confirm previous data showing that both lactoferrin and lactoferricin have antiviral properties in vitro and can inhibit HSV-2 infection of GMK cells in a dose-dependent manner. When tested in vivo, lactoferricin but not lactoferrin was also a potent inhibitor of HSV-2 infection.
When admixed with virus prior to inoculation, lactoferricin inhibited disease development and significantly reduced the viral load in a genital model of HSV-2 infection in mice. Lactoferrin and lactoferricin were also tested for their ability to stimulate the production of chemokines. Neither of the compounds induced the production of CCL3, CCL5, CXCL1 or CXCL2 by mouse splenocytes in vitro. However, when tested in vivo, both lactoferrin and lactoferricin were able to induce local vaginal production of CCL5. Patients with symptoms of acute hemispheric stroke presenting to either Neurology Department of KGMU or to the Neuroscience Department of Mayo Medical Center Lucknow were taken up for the imaging study at MR Section Department of Radiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India. The prophylactic and/or therapeutic effects of lactoferrin or lactoferricin were also tested. But none of the compounds were efficient in blocking HSV-2 infection when given 24h prior to HSV-2 infection.
Lactoferricin however showed promising results as a therapeutic agent and delayed both disease onset by 3days as well as reducing the viral load almost 15-fold when given as a single dose 24h post-infection. These data show that lactoferricin can block genital herpes infection in mice, and perhaps also be used for post-infection treatment. The milk protein lactoferrin (Lf) has multiple functions, including immune stimulation and antiviral activity towards herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2); antiviral activity has also been reported for the N-terminal pepsin-derived fragment lactoferricin (Lfcin). The anti-HSV mode of action of Lf and Lfcin is assumed to involve, in part, their interaction with the cell surface glycosaminoglycan heparan sulfate, thereby blocking of viral entry. In this study we investigated the ability of human and bovine Lf and Lfcin to inhibit viral cell-to-cell spread as well as the involvement of cell surface glycosaminoglycans during viral cell-to-cell spread. Lf and Lfcin from both human and bovine origin, inhibited cell-to-cell spread of both HSV-1 and HSV-2. Inhibition of cell-to-cell spread by bovine Lfcin involved cell surface chondroitin sulfate.
Based on transmission electron microscopy studies, human Lfcin, like bovine Lfcin, was randomly distributed intracellularly, thus differences in their antiviral activity could not be explained by differences in their distribution. In contrast, the cellular localization of iron-saturated (holo)-Lf appeared to differ from that of apo-Lf, indicating that holo- and apo-Lf may exhibit different antiviral mechanisms. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial of oral L-lysine monohydrochloride for the prevention and treatment of recurrent herpes simplex (HSV) infection was conducted. Viruxo should be taken on a regular basis to help keep your immune system at a heightened state, for added protection. A total of 27 (6 male and 21 female) subjects on L-lysine and 25 (6 male and 19 female) subjects on placebo completed the trial. The L-lysine treatment group had an average of 2.4 (p less than 0.05) less HSV infections, symptoms were significantly (p less than 0.05) diminished in severity and healing time was significantly reduced (p less than 0.05). L-Lysine appears to be an effective agent for reduction of occurrence, severity and healing time for recurrent HSV infection.
In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of forty-one patients we found that oral ingestion of 1,248 mg a day of L-Lysine monohydrochloride shows evidence of decreasing the recurrence rate of herpes simplex attacks in nonimmunocompromised hosts. A dose of 624 mg a day was not effective. L-Lysine may also be capable of decreasing the severity of symptoms associated with recurrences. Neither dosage showed any evidence of shortening the healing time compared to placebo. Modulation of innate and adaptive immunity by lactoferrin in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected, antiretroviral therapy-naive children. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2007 Mar;29(3):353-5.
Na, and K. Zuccotti GV, Vigano A, Borelli M, Saresella M, Giacomet V, Clerici M. Oral lactoferrin supplementation in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected, antiretroviral therapy-naive children resulted in a skewing of T-lymphocytes towards more differentiated subpopulations. Phagocytosis (P=0.01) and killing (P=0.009), Toll-like receptor 2 expression (P=0.01) and the interleukin-12/interleukin-10 ratio (P=0.001) were also improved by lactoferrin. Lactoferrin supplementation results in immune modulation and could be useful in HIV infection.