Foods to avoid with cold sores are key foods that contain high levels of the amino acid arginine and low quantities of lysine. Take a look now at what these foods are and how to easily cancel them out.
Perhaps you have heard - arginine and lysine are two amino acids (protein fractions) found in foods that have a significant effect on cold sores.
Arginine and lysine work in the following way.
Cold sore events occur because of the replication process of herpes simplex virus (type 1 and 2). This is a sub-microscopic virus that creates more virus by forcing your cells to become herpes factories. When the cell becomes full of new virus, it is destroyed to release them. This causes the cold sore ulcer.
One of the main ingredients the cell must have to create new herpes virus is arginine. Your cells have special receptors that they use to store arginine.
The same receptors are used to store lysine. Lysine is a protein that cannot be used to create new virus.
When you consume high levels of lysine, the lysine will take the place of some of the arginine. This creates a situation where the cell cannot support the production of new herpes virus because of low arginine levels.
Whenever your cells have a higher lysine than arginine content, it discourages creation of new virus. This often sends the herpes virus back into a latent state. You will not get a cold sore if the cells cannot create virus.
Here are some common foods to avoid with cold sores. These foods are known to contain high levels of arginine.
---- Chocolate (ouch)
---- Shell type seafood such as oysters and crab
---- Oats, barley, wheat and most other grains
---- Many fruits and berries including grapes, grapefruit and oranges
---- Many vegetables are ok, however onions, peas, brussel sprouts, and squash are high in arginine.
Fact is - it can be hard to avoid certain foods. Some should not be avoided. You will notice many of the foods on the avoid list have a high nutritional value and are important for your optimal health. You probably would not hurt yourself by avoiding these foods for just a week or so.
But, for your best health, do not avoid these foods for more than a couple weeks. It is not a wise cold sore prevention program. It is only to help with a current outbreak. These highly nutritional foods are important for a strong immune system. One that helps protect you from the cold sore virus.
Better than avoiding good foods, you can increase your consumption of lysine during the cold sore period. This is useful to heal a cold sore quickly and prevent new sores.
The following foods are higher in lysine and can be used to balance out the high arginine foods to avoid with cold sores - especially during the outbreak.
All dairy products are rich in lysine, such as cheeses, yogurt, and whole milk. Other lysine rich foods include chicken, beef, beets, apricots, figs, avocado, apples and soybeans. Fish is a particularly good source of lysine, especially flounder.
Following a restricted diet, or intolerance of dairy products, may make these diet recommendations difficult or impossible for you. Vegetarians would certainly have problems with a cold sore diet.
A great way to reduce cold sores without the bother of a restricted diet is the use of a lysine supplement. Lysine usually comes in 500 mg. capsules and can be found anywhere. It is common to take 2000 mg. (4 caps) to 4000 mg. (8 caps) daily during the cold sore and two capsules daily as a maintenance dose to prevent Cold Sores.
Is lysine safe to take in large quantity?
The short answer is YES. No negative side effects have ever been noted. Fact is, flounder mentioned above is so rich in lysine that an eight-ounce serving will provide 7000 mg. (7 grams) of lysine. Since food-source lysine is twice as absorbed as supplemental lysine, this is equivalent to about 24 capsules.
Be sure to seek out and try different home Cold Sore Remedies. Some will work better for you than others. Pick out the best and put together your own treatment strategy. Lysine is a great internal remedy, but you need a complete strategy consisting of both internal and external remedies. There are many good topical treatments, but without proper internal methods along with them, you will likely not see the results you expect and deserve.
The good news - you do not have to give up chocolate. Increasing your lysine intake with high-lysine foods or supplements will often cancel out the effects of the arginine foods to avoid with cold sores.