Benefits and Side Effects of Using Lysine to Treat Herpes

Understanding Lysine and Herpes

Lysine is as an essential amino acid - a building block of protein. The human body does not synthesize it, so it must be ingested. Studies suggest that lysine may be an effective treatment for patients with herpes simplex infections. Lysine has become an overnight sensation. However, its efficacy has not been conclusively proven in clinical studies. Moreover, potential side effects have yet to be scientifically confirmed.

Herpes simplex is a viral infection induced by both Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 & HSV-2). This disorder is identified by infection site. For example:

  • Oral herpes (cold sores or fever blisters) - affects the face and mouth, the most prevalent infection among herpes patients.
  • Genital herpes (known colloquially as simply herpes) - affects the pubic area and represents the second most common herpes variation.

Significance of Lysine

While there are other strains of the herpes virus, we will focus on these two viruses. Dr. Alan R. Gaby first proposed lysine's effectiveness for the treatment of herpes. In his 2006 book, Natural Pharmacy, he explained that lysine opposed the effects of arginine. Arginine enables the herpes simplex virus to infest and prosper. It is therefore helpful to reduce the frequency of recurrences. However, he noted that the use of lysine-containing supplements at the onset of an outbreak might not be "as effective." Further research must be conducted to assess the effectiveness of lysine for herpes treatment.

Safety Issues

Gaby proclaimed that a daily dosage of 6 g appears to be harmless for healthy adults. As a precautionary measure, male patients with heart, liver, kidney, or gallbladder ailments and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their doctors before taking lysine supplements. Lysine is not meant as a replacement for conventional herpes treatment. Patients should seek medical guidance at the first sign of a herpes outbreak.

Lysine Side Effects

Lysine's role in herpes treatment was only recently elucidated, so its side effects are just starting to surface. Allegedly, a continuous high dosage may accelerate the formation of gallstones. People who develop a lysine dependency run the risk of both heightened cholesterol and triglyceride levels over time. As such, patients suffering from cardiovascular problems should seek the advice of theirs doctor before taking lysine supplements. There have also been reported cases of cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain with daily dosages exceeding 40 grams.

Ultimately, lysine performs a critical role in many crucial life processes, and herpes treatment is very likely one of them. Yet moderation is key when determining proper dosage. Excessively high amounts of lysine may potentially cause complications that range from gallstone formation to a drastic drop in arginine levels.