Learn About Genital Herpes - Your Guide To Manage Herpes In Your Life
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Herpes and the Lysine Mythfrom:
You have probably heard it or read it from hundreds of sources
over the years: "Take lysine to prevent outbreaks." Millions of
people living with the upper and lower manifestations of this
virus have added lysine supplements to their herpes-fighting
arsenal. The once touted benefit of lysine is closer to myth
than fact. Inconclusive studies show that the actual positive
effects of lysine are slight at best.
Origins of the Lysine Myth
Like the origin of many myths, the Lysine Myth has some
foundation in truth. To understand its genesis, we must
understand the interaction between the amino acids lysine and
arganine and their relation to the herpes virus.
It has been well established that the herpes virus is highly
dependant on the amino acid arganine for replication. Lysine has
shown to have an inhibitive counter-effect on arganine. This led
to the idea that a high lysine concentration in our bodies would
counteract the arganine on which herpes depends and thereby
suppress its ability to multiply.
Initial studies on the lysine-arganine hypothesis tended to
support this idea. Several studies in the early 1980's reported
positive results. Subsequent studies have not been conclusive.
Some researchers believe these conflicting studies occurred
because the amounts of lysine and arganine supplied naturally
from the diets of the study participants were not accounted for
in the study controls. The typical American diet tends to
include more lysine rich foods from meat and dairy products than
arganine rich foods from beans, whole grains, and nuts. This
means that the actual total amount of lysine and arganine in
each individual participant in the studies was not known.
Naturally, this created serious irregularities in the studies.
Finding Some Truth
Even with the inherent problems plaguing the current studies,
most tended to show that high daily doses of lysine supplements
(1000mg and greater) have a slight effect in reducing the rate
of recurrence of outbreaks over extended periods. However, the
studies do not support the idea that lysine significantly
reduces the duration of outbreaks or their severity.
Extended use of lysine has recently raised some severe health
concerns. Although long-term use of lysine supplements may help
to reduce the rate of outbreak recurrence, it may not be a safe
treatment. At least one person taking 3000mg of Lysine daily for
five years developed Fanconi's syndrome, a severe kidney disease
that leads to renal failure. Even short-term use over a period
of several days can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. All
people, especially those with kidney problems, should be heed
lysine supplements with great caution. Further studies on lysine
safety are warranted.
Find Better Alternatives
In conclusion, lysine is not proven effective at shortening
outbreaks. Long-term use with high dosage does slightly reduce
the rate of recurrences of outbreaks, but comes with serious
safety concerns. Given the number of successful alternative
treatments available, lysine supplementation is not a
About the author:
John Stuttmier is a herpes education activist. He promotes
herpes awareness with information, successful treatment options,
and a real-time case counter at http://www.HerpesCounter.com.
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