Herpes always occurs when you least need it – z. B. shortly before an interview, the first date or an important lecture. But it doesn’t always have to be expensive drugs or ointments. Natural remedies like the amino acid L-lysine can also help prevent the unwanted outbreak. You can find everything about herpes and lysine in our blog post today.
What is herpes and why does it develop?
Herpes is a widespread infectious disease that is caused by the herpes simplex virus ( HSV for short). There are two types of virus: the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1, in humans: HHV-1) and the herpes simplex virus 2 (in humans: HHV-2).
HSV- 1 primarily causes the typical cold sore, whereas HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes. In principle, however, both types of virus can trigger herpes in the above-mentioned parts of the body. Other diseases that are caused by other herpes viruses are, for example, chickenpox, shingles and Pfeiffer’s glandular fever.
Up to 80% of people in Germany are carriers of HSV-1, as it occurs within the family in infancy is transmitted. HSV-1 is usually passed on through contact with saliva, such as kissing or sharing cutlery or glasses. HSV-2 is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse in adolescence. Symptoms of a herpes infection can include the typical cold sores and febrile illnesses. Herpes is contagious for about a week.
Once infected with the virus, it stays in the body for life, more precisely in the nerve ganglia. If the body is weakened, the viruses can repeatedly migrate to the surface of the skin and cause the typical herpes symptoms. This process is known as reactivation. How often such reactivation occurs varies greatly. Herpes can occur several times a year or never again. The reactivation comes about when the immune system is weakened such. B. in disgust, stress or allergies. Therefore, the weaker the immune system, the more frequently herpes infections occur.
Note: It is also possible that people carry the virus without knowing about it, as the disease never breaks out.
Herpes and Lysine
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid, i. H. the body cannot make them itself. If only one amino acid is missing in the body, no protein can be formed. It is therefore extremely important to get all of the essential amino acids in your diet. Since many plant-based foods are low in lysine (with the exception of legumes such as peas, lentils or soy), vegans in particular should ensure that they have a sufficient supply of L-lysine.
L-lysine and L-arginine are opponents
Scientists have found that L-arginine and L-lysine have opposite effects in herpes, as both amino acids compete for the same transport system. It seems that the herpes virus needs a high level of arginine in the body in order to multiply. A high concentration of lysine inhibits this replication, which is also shown by various cell studies. Because if there is an excess of lysine, the herpes virus builds in lysine and growth stops.
L-arginine: Multiplication of herpes viruses
L-lysine: Stop the virus from growing
Important: Arginine only has negative effects on herpes. Otherwise, the amino acid promotes blood circulation and thus leads to an increase in performance in sport, since important substances are transported to and from the muscles faster.
In the case of herpes, the lysine intake should either be increased or the ratio of lysine to Arginine can be increased in favor of lysine.
Lysine has a soothing effect and reduces recurring outbreaks
Various studies show that the amino acid lysine has a positive effect on herpes. Regular lysine supplementation alleviates acute attacks and reduces the recurrence of new infections. Griffith et al. also found in their study that lysine supplementation led to faster recovery after a herpes infection. (Recommended for athletes anabolika kaufen online shop) The dose of lysine is important in this context. A study by Mailoo and Rampes (2017) showed that supplements below 1 g per day seem to be ineffective for prevention and treatment.
Griffith et al. conducted a placebo-controlled study with 52 subjects. The participants in the lysine group received 1000 mg L-lysine 3 times a day for a period of 6 months. After 6 months it was found that this group had fewer herpes infections than the placebo group. In addition, the symptoms in the lysine group were significantly lower and the healing time was also reduced. Regular lysine supplementation (1 g 3 times a day for six months) can thus prevent the occurrence of a new herpes infection.
The Thein and Hurts study with 26 volunteers who often suffer from cold sores showed that serum lysine concentrations of more than 165 μM (24 mg / mL) are necessary in order to reduce recurring outbreaks. The exact serum concentration is not known.
Other studies also show that a shift in the arginine-lysine ratio towards lysine leads to reduced replication and also inhibits the cytopathogenicity of the virus.
The correct intake of lysine
For prophylaxis, at least 1000 mg lysine daily is recommended. If there is an active herpes infection, you can increase the intake to over 3000 mg per day. Our Nutri-Plus L-Lysine contains 2200 mg per daily dose and is therefore ideal for both prophylaxis and therapy for herpes.
Lysine has a similar effect to many herpes medication, but without side effects. Since lysine (with a low intake of arginine) can lead to a narrowing of the blood vessels, people with circulatory disorders should discuss the intake with their doctor beforehand.