L-Lysine Feedback

I have been taking lysine for 3+ months now. I am truly a skeptic so my opinion is based on experience and not speculation.

Lysine has shown for me to reduce the length and severity of outbreaks dramatically. Normally 9-10 days from initial tingle to normal skin is my recovery rate.

I started with 1g per day and saw a noticeable decrease in outbreak severity. I upped it to 2g per day and reduced the recovery time from 9 days to 3-4 days.

Also the length of time from one out break to the next was increased from about every 30 days to every 45-50 days. I plan on upping the dose to 3g per day and seeing if there is any effect for the next 90 days.

As a side note, for years I was experiencing outbreaks maybe 3-4 times per year. I never treated or used suppressive therapy and just accepted it.

Over the last 2 years, I have seen increased outbreaks to every 30 days. I decided in Dec 07 to take a proactive stance and see if there was any change.

Lysine seems to work at reducing the recovery rate quite nicely but does not seem to reduce the frequency enough to stand on a mountain and claim victory. Maybe this is a cumulative thing so I will stay on the current regime for another 120 days and re-evaluate. – Joe

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15 thoughts on “L-Lysine Feedback

  1. L-lysine is the only thing that works to stop my outbreaks- prescription meds were pricey, had side effects, and didn’t work for me at all. I’ve been using lysine for 5 years now, outbreak-free. Can you tell me what the effects of too much lysine are in the body, as I haven’t been able to find anything on the internet? Thanks.

  2. L-lysine is a naturally occurring substance called an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. Proteins in the body are used to make the structure that holds us up and the molecular array that runs our metabolic processes. Our bodies have immense control over amino acids because we depend on them so much. We are constantly making and destroying amino acids and connecting them one to the other in order to maintain the exquisite balance just so.

    In the 1960s, an effect of L-lysine against herpes simplex virus was noted in the test tube. It seems that changing the nutritional environment of herpes alters its capability to make its essential proteins. This amino acid balance can be critical, especially between two amino acids, lysine and arginine. These two amino acids work in somewhat opposite ways, in that lysine in excessive amounts damages the virus, while arginine in insufficient amounts has a similar effect. The lysine/arginine ratio is the important factor: a high ratio has a damaging effect on herpes simplex virus in culture. It is a giant leap to say that altering these chemicals in the diet will change the body’s ability to combat clinical infection. In fact, it is not known whether this ratio can be changed in the body. There have been clinical trials with L-lysine, but they have NEVER involved total dietary management, which is being suggested by a number of L-lysine advocates. The lysine work to date in humans is summarized below.

    Dr. R. S. Griffith and his coworkers published an article in 1978 describing a multicenter trial of L-lysine for herpes infections. Doses of 300 mg to 1,000 mg per day were used. A long term beneficial effect was observed. However, this study had NO control group. Many people with herpes swear by L-lysine, as popular trade magazines have attested. Without PROPER controls, however, placebo effects can be quite profound. In one study, 77 percent of 26 patients reported their oral herpes lesions to be markedly reduced in severity and duration by treatment with water! Ether, the test substance in that clinical trial, was shown to be no more effective than water placebo. Back to L-lysine. If water works for 77 percent of people who think they are using a drug, then it would be wise to be very critical of studies that have NO control group.

    Two controlled trials of L-lysine have been performed in Denmark by Dr. N. Milman and his coworkers. First, L-lysine was used as treatment for recurrent oral herpes. The treatment was used as soon as a coming recurrence was sensed. It was tested on 251 recurrences. There was clearly NO beneficial effect. Next, people with recurrent oral herpes took 1,000 mg daily, while the control group took starch powder tablets. After twelve weeks, the groups switched places. The drug had no effect on the number of recurrences, the rate of recurrences, the rate of healing of recurrences, or the symptoms of recurrences. Fourteen people had no recurrences at all during lysine treatment. This was considered to be of borderline significance.

    In another study, from the Dermatology Branch at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. J. DiGiovanna and H. Blank performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of L-lysine taken for four to five months. The drug was given as 400 mg three times daily, and participants were advised not to take “excessive” amounts of seeds, nuts, or chocolate because of their arginine content. Their results were published in January 1984 in Archives of Dermatology. No substantial benefits of treatment were noted. The fact that only twenty patients were studied and follow-up during the treatment period was left mostly up to the patients themselves makes interpretation somewhat difficult. Nevertheless, all participants has a positive diagnosis at the time of entry, and no beneficial effects were seen.

    In conclusion, it is not known whether the lysine/arginine ratio matters for herpes in Humans. Dietary controls have only recently been part of the experimental design, and in this setting no benefits were noted. The average North American diet is much higher in lysine (meats and dairy products) than in arginine (legumes, whole grains, nuts). We do not know if altering the amino acid intake actually changes the nutrients available to the virus inside the cell. However, we are also in the dark concerning the safety of this regimen, because alterations of amino acids have undetermined effects on the body. Because amino acids are not called drugs, they are not controlled as drugs; as “natural” nutrients, they can be put into tablets and sold for consumption at any dosage.

  3. I use large doses (4-6g 3x per day) of Lysine the minute I feel the initial tingle of a cold sore outbreak, and if I catch it in time, the sore will never actually break out. This has proven to be 100% effective for me.

    If I am out of the house and don’t take the L-Lysine for a few hours after I feel the sore, it will errupt without fail. Continuing the L-Lysine will decrease the severity about 50-75% of the time, and when I say decrease the severity, I’m talking about a sore with a single blister that is barely visible on my lip vs. a sore that takes over one whole side of my upper lip and usually works its way up to the bottom of my nose.

    So, I know that Angela says over and over that science hasn’t proven its worthiness, and I certainly haven’t done enough studies to recommend it to everyone. But it is cheap, and I don’t have to take it every day – just once in a while when I feel an outbreak coming on. So – if it works for me I would hate for others to not at least try it for them and then make an informed choice.

  4. Yes, but how do you know that it’s working for you? How do you know it’s not the type and/or location of the virus? How do you know it’s not your immune system? How do you know for sure that THAT is what is helping you?

  5. It’s all very well being cautious, but consistent anecdotal evidence is still evidence. People blindly following their version of the western medical model seem adamantly and arrogantly incapable of accepting anything that doesn’t come through official channels. If the lady says taking L-Lysine stops an outbreak for her every time, and not taking it means an outbreak occurs every time, then it’s the L-Lysine that’s working for her mmkay?

    Science hasn’t “proved” the worthiness of many things that nevertheless work beautifully. Science will catch up and figure it out, and then someone will try to patent it and make money from it. In the meantime, it still works. I was prescribed surgery, and then follow-up cosmetic surgery for a skin cancer on my lip. Radium weed and then Aloe Vera cleared it up beautifully without any disfigurement – despite medical denial of efficacy. The stubborn arrogance of such determinedly ignorant positions still amazes me.

    From what I’ve read about L-Lysine it seems to have different efficacy for different people. For me, the jury is still out, though it doesn’t seem to be having much effect, if any (though I am experimenting with dosage).

  6. If you believe that L-lysine is clearing up your outbreaks then knock yourself out w/it. L-lysine didn’t clear up any of it for me. Hopefully people are running around having sex thinking that L-lysine works as suppressive therapy. Just Sayin’ MmKay?

  7. I’m writing a research paper on herpes, and I find this site interesting and helpful, but NOT b/c of Angela’s addiction to her point of view, but b/c of all the intelligent responses (w/helpful links to studies) to her point of view. Angela, it’s so obvious to everyone reading this that you are very one-sided. You would be much more respected (and helpful) if you simply admitted that lysine works for some better than others (including you). Your experience is relevant but no more relevant than anyone else’s. The lysine/arginine balance works for me, and I know for certain that certain arginine-high foods, such as chocolate, nuts, and alcohol trigger my onsets. Who wants to be on suppressive therapy for life w/powerful drugs w/powerful side-effects, which are not natural and expensive? Seriously. Diet is directly related to immune system function, as are other factors such as rest, exercise, stress reduction, etc. The point is, drugs do not SOLVE the problem only suppress it. We are looking for CURES, SOLUTIONS. I hope you can lighten up and see that the true cure to every disease involves a lifestyle change and something in nature, not a man-made drug. Peace.

  8. Who said that anybody has to be on suppressive therapy for life with antivirals? I sure don’t believe that. Did somebody tell you that? I just don’t want people running around thinking that they are protecting their uninfected partner taking L-lysine. I also don’t want those who get nothing from L-lysine to feel as if they have been cheated. Many people also understand that L-lysine can be achieved naturally by simply eating foods that are rich in Lysine. It’s pretty clear that you are as one-sided as they come. Not very tolerant of all points of view. Oh and I wouldn’t recommend anybody that is pregnant hoping to suppress the virus to do so with Lysine. That would be ridiculous! Lysine is not for suppressive therapy. In fact, it hasn’t done squat for or against the herpes virus. Period.

  9. I was having chronic genital herpes outbreaks, one after the other. I did not want to continue on the meds because I was having horrible side effects from them, and they really weren’t working anyway. I read about lysine and decided to try it. I use the liquid. 2 dropperfuls in the morning, 2 in the evening. In about 2 weeks the outbreaks stopped and I haven’t had one since. That was 4 months ago. I haven’t changed anything else in my diet or life – and I’m not taking anything else except a multi vitamin. Obviously, Lysine works for me.

  10. P.S. I am still taking lysine liquid a.m. and p.m. – almost afraid to stop now. It’s been so nice not having outbreaks.

  11. You said you were having chronic outbreaks. So basically you experienced symptoms that you just assumed were due to having herpes. That’s interesting because even after being diagnosed with herpes that doesn’t mean that every symptom you experience is going to be because of herpes. Did you have a doctor check into any of this? What if it was something else like an allergic reaction to something? You were having horrible side effects and you feel it was because of the meds. Did you even once think to discuss any of this with your doctor who would ultimately be able to tell you one way or the other if the side effects you were experiencing were really a result of your meds? Do you just float through life making assumptions without really checking with the professionals? You don’t even know if what you had was a herpes outbreak. Do yourself a favor and stop trying to play doctor on yourself.

  12. Angela,
    Perhaps you were not seeing any results because you were not taking a big enough dose. I am a nurse, and I take L-lysine everytime I feel a cold sore coming on. I have turned all of my family, and husband on to it and they too, all have the same success with it. I have been told that 500 mg-1000mg a day as a maintenance dose (when you are not experiencing an active attack) is sufficient enough to cut down on the frequency of your attacks, and when you have an actual attack coming on, you are supposed to take 3000mg-4000mg a day until the breakout goes away. L-lysine is an amino acid product that interferes with the viruses’ ability to replicate because it interferes with DNA synthesis thereby, killing the virus within a couple of days because it cannot replicate any further and all viruses are obligate intracellular parasites. Like I said, maybe you just need to adjust your dose to your circumstances.
    -Karlee, R.N.

  13. Also angela, I was wondering what your credentials are to know so much about the herpes virus and what does and does not work on it?

    You seem to “think” without a doubt, that you know what DOESNT treat Herpes, but you are as skeptical as could be when it comes to considering personal testimonials and scientific data to the effectiveness of L-lysine being used to treat Herpes.

    I’m just saying, open your horizon a little bit to the idea. This doesnt mean you have to accept it, but saying that you are tolerant other’s opinions in one breath and then turning around in your next breath and saying, “Lysine is not for suppressive therapy. In fact, it hasn’t done squat for or against the herpes virus. Period.”

    With a statement like that, surely you have some kind of medical background to be able to say this??

  14. Credentials? First of all you don’t know me and unless or until you get to know me you might want to keep your judgments to yourself. Credentials mean NOTHING to me!! I’ve known plenty of people with lots of Credentials that tell their patients every day that there is no herpes test without a sore OR that they can’t pass herpes unless there is an outbreak. They can’t even tell you what asymptomatic shedding is!! So please do NOT lecture me about credentials. Don’t be a hater!!! THINK before you SPOUT!!!

  15. Wow. Is this an internet thread or is it a site developed to help those of us who have been afflicted with the Herpes Virus? Also, copy and paste does work wonders when you are trying to shove information into someone’s brain. I would like to tell my story now… I have been diagnosed with Herpes for 3 months. I’m sure is was my girlfriend that I am with now gave it to me, but neither of us have ever shown any symptoms of it in the year that we have been together until she developed a yeast infection and passed it to me. I had an outbreak that looked like my penis was going to eat itself away at the very base. I take Acyclovir that has been prescribed for me, but they only fill it with 40 pills, which isn’t enough for me. I haven’t tried Lysine yet, but I am going to head to Walmart in a few minutes to pick some up as I have taken my last pill and have 4-5 blisters popping up. My initial outbreak was about 30-40 blisters that consumed my groin almost in its entirety, so this is nothing. If Lysine works, great. If it doesn’t, I am only out the $6 I paid for the bottle instead of the $50 i pay to get a damn refill. I plan on keeping both the supplements and the anti-viral, but if the supplements help keep my OB’s at bay and the antivirals make the ones that do pop up go away, sounds like it’s a good deal. All of the doctors I have seen about certain ailments that I have did not know what was wrong with me until I was bounced around from one doctor to another. I also have Mineire’s Disease, which is extreme vertigo. All you had to do was plug my symptoms into Google and Mineire’s Disease pops up, among other things. My doctor had no idea what it was, after complaining of the symptoms for over 2 years. I went to an eye-doctor and he said, “Maybe you have Mineire’s Disease?” Anyways, back to herpes. You obviously hold a grudge about contracting Herpes or you wouldn’t be so crass about the subject. You have it. Plain and simple. Let it go and save yourself the grief. Having Herpes is the best thing that has happened to mine and my girlfriend’s relationship and we are closer than we ever have been. And one last thing before I go, being a smartass to people doesn’t make one NOT want to get Lysine. It makes them look at a different site for help with their ailment.

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