We are all familiar with that prickly, tingly feeling at the corners of our mouth, and it is almost always the sign of an incoming cold sore. Cold sores are incurable but entirely treatable. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus that causes fluid build-up under the skin. They typically show up around the mouth but surprisingly can be found on the nose area too!
One of the most effective ways for treating cold sores is by adding lysine to your diet. Lysine is an essential amino acid. The body uses it to fight off infections by producing antibodies and enzymes to help ward off the herpes virus.
Most people with the herpes virus do not show signs or outbreaks at any point in their lifetime, but still carry the virus. For people who do show signs, treating the outbreak is your best option. Adding lysine-rich foods to your diet however, like fish, legumes, dairy products, and red meat, can help mitigate the frequency with which cold sores appear.
One amino acid to stay away from though, is arginine, which blocks the absorption of lysine in the body. When lysine levels are low is when an outbreak is likely to appear. Try staying away from foods rich in arginine like chocolate, peanuts and almonds.
You may also want to consider a lysine supplement, but consult your physician before starting a supplement you’re unfamiliar with. It is recommended to start taking 1g a day to prevent cold sores and when treating then, take 1g/3 times a day. A daily lysine supplement for those who do not frequently eat lysine-rich foods is a good way to stop those pesky cold sores before they start!