It was back in the 1980’s that L-lysine was first used as a treatment for cold sores. It’s an essential amino acid, which means that it can’t be produced by the body on its own. It will only be available to your body through your diet, or the taking of supplements.

Lysine is one of the key building blocks of protein. Although it is found in many types of food, such as red meats and dairy products, some of us still don’t get enough Lysine through diet alone. Could a high dose of L-lysine shorten the healing time, or even help with cold sore prevention? Initial tests performed by the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that this may be the case.

Well, for the herpes simplex virus type (HSV-1) to reproduce, it needs a steady source of Arginine. The argument is that Lysine inhibits the absorption of Arginine in the intestine, so the replication process for the virus is much harder than it would otherwise have been.

While high dosages are often advised, this should usually be avoided. When taken as a supplement, it can have some unpleasant side effects. These include diarrhea, stomach cramping, and nausea. It’s also not a good option if you have kidney problems. These risks don’t apply if you just consume Lysine-rich foods.

Does Lysine Remove Cold Sores?

Unfortunately, test results are inconclusive.

This is likely because testing was performed in small groups, and the methods that were used don’t meet modern medical standards. Consequently, some people have found that their cold sores healed faster after taking L-lysine supplements, while others saw no improvement at all. This is the case with many treatments.

If you believe that the argument for treating cold sores with L-lysine is a good one, the only way that you’re going to find out is through personal testing. You can apply Basic Organics Lysine Lip Ointment and/or take a Lysine supplement each day. You’ll quickly be able to find out how your body responds.

No pill will ‘cure’ cold sores. Discomfort will need to be endured for 10 to 14 days, but the life cycle can be shortened with a remedy/treatment. Two FDA-approved treatments that are proven to work are the Virulite device and HERP-B-GONE. They can reduce the healing time to only 72 hours. In addition, prescription medication such as Zovirax and Valtrex can also help.

What Are the Benefits of Lysine for Cold Sores Treatment?

  • Lysine is believed to heal cold sores due to its antiviral properties.
  • Inhibits the growth of Arginine, which is needed to replicate the virus, in the intestine. This is why some experts believe that it prevents cold sores from getting any worse.
  • It strengthens the immune system.

What Are Good Sources of L-lysine?

Lysine is an essential amino acid. The body does not naturally produce it, so it must be included in your diet, or taken as a supplement. You can add Lysine to your diet naturally.

Here are some foods that are good sources of L-lysine:

  • Pork
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Fish
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole eggs
  • Soybeans

What’s the Recommended Lysine Dosage?

When a cold sore has broken out, oral Lysine supplements may help with recovery. It’s an amino acid that’s required by the body for a variety of different functions. If a sore is just starting to appear, it may also help to lessen the symptoms.

  • Pro Tip: The suggested dose, for when the sore is just developing, is to take a 3.000 mg. Lysine supplement daily. You should take 1,000 mg. 3 times a day, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Some people suggest much higher dosages but remember that it could have side effects. Take a quality supplement to support the maintenance and help with the prevention of cold sores. It’s also recommended that you also take 50 mg of zinc a day, and 500 mg. of vitamin C as this will give your immune system a welcome boost.

Avoid eating foods, such as peanuts (or other types of nuts), chocolate, and seeds.

Taking Supplements while Pregnant

When you’re pregnant, it is always recommended that you talk to your health care provider to make sure that taking Lysine will be safe. The same applies if you’re nursing. While you shouldn’t take it orally, as a supplement, applying an ointment should be okay.

Read more about cold sores and pregnancy to learn about the safest treatment options for cold sores during pregnancy.

Supplements have not been researched sufficiently to be sure that they’re 100% safe for pregnant women to take it orally. Although natural and needed by the body, Lysine should be avoided in high doses. No testing has been performed on how pregnant women respond to taking daily supplements.

Pregnancy can be stressful at times, and getting a cold sore during this period makes matters even worse. But there are topical remedies that can immediately take the pain away and can significantly reduce the time it takes to heal thoroughly. So, what can you use safely if supplements and prescription pills aren’t suitable?

Is There an FDA Approved Alternative to Lysine?

A safe and effective topical treatment for cold sores is Abreva. It is one of the few treatments that have been approved by the FDA, and it heals the sore faster. You will enjoy immediate relief from the pain and burning. You can CLICK HERE to read the latest customer reviews and check pricing.

Lysine for Cold Sores

Does Lysine Work?

Lysine is usually sold as L-Lysine, and it is available in many forms. There are tablets, creams, liquids, pastes, and capsules. It is sold as a dietary supplement, to aid in the prevention of an outbreak. But when an outbreak does occur, you should treat it to lessen the pain and burning sensations. We prefer Virulite device and HERP-B-GONE to Lysine because they’re both medically proven to work.

Having to deal with fever blisters is painful, annoying, and embarrassing. Taking dietary supplements of L-lysine on a daily basis could help lessen the chances of getting cold sores, but it’s not proven. Some people swear by it as a treatment, but it could be that other lifestyle changes are making the difference. As we’ve already mentioned, the only way that you’ll know for sure is by giving it a try yourself.


How much lysine should you take for a cold sore?

Apply lysine cream to the afflicted region every two hours for 10 days or until it is gone to treat a cold sore infection. The suggested dosage for oral supplements to treat cold sore infections is 1 gram three times daily. To help prevent them, take 1 gram everyday.

Does lysine actually help cold sores?

According to a published review of evidence, “88% considered lysine effective for herpes. 60% of subjects with cold sores without medical therapy said their symptoms were severe before taking lysine versus 4% with lysine.”

What is the best vitamin for cold sores?

Cold sores may heal faster if vitamin C is combined with flavonoids. In vitro, vitamin C has been found to inactivate herpes viruses. In one trial, patients with herpes were given a placebo or 200 mg of vitamin C + 200 mg of flavonoids three to five times each day.

Who should not take lysine?

People who are taking calcium supplements or those who are on gastrointestinal medicines should consult with a doctor before taking Lysiene.