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). Changes in the clinical status might sometimes be related to pathophysiologic events such as early reperfusion, hemorrhagic transformation or edema of the ischemic lesions . 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. You can take this as a regular part of your diet in hopes of preventing herpes flare-ups, or, perhaps, at the first sign of an attack.
Lysine monohydrochloride is also used to treat metabolic alkalosis. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine if a bovine lactoferrin/whey protein Ig-rich fraction (Lf/IgF) combination was effective in reducing the number of colds and in turn improving symptom recovery in a cohort of males and females that reported frequently contracting a cold. 11 While receiving 3 g of L-lysine every day for 6 months, the treatment group experienced an average of 2.4 fewer herpes flare-ups than the placebo group—a significant difference. The lysine group’s flare-ups were also significantly less severe and healed faster. Another double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study on 41 subjects also found improvements in the frequency of attacks. 12 Interestingly, this study found that 1,250 mg of lysine daily worked, but 624 mg did not. Although some are promising, none of these studies are large enough to give conclusive answers.
At this point, more evidence is needed to determine whether lysine is effective for preventing herpes simplex. Foods that contain more L-Lysine and less L-Arginine are beneficial and have a larger %-ratio Lys/Arg ratio! 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. Maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.