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The question asked last week concerned the new treatment recommended for Herpes Simplex I mouth infections and the role amino acids arginine and lysine play in the occurrence of these ulcerations.
In part one, I covered the fact that in 47 years of practice before this theory evolved, I had treated several thousand of these cases and found in checking patients’ diets, that fruit and particularly fruit juice, was the common denominator. So many of our local Ojai ranchers and citizens have orange orchards, that my findings regarding orange juice have received a good share of criticism. I can assure readers that many local ranchers who have suffered frequent battles with cold sores, have found my observations factual, and have been grateful for the personal relief they achieved.
Oranges aren’t the only fruit involved–they just happen to be the one most consumed. Actually, some patients are found that react only to citrus acid fruits like orange, lemon, grapefruit and tomatoes. Others had attacks from the malic acid found in apples. Still others reacted from benzoic or oxalic acid fruits, such as present in prunes, sour cherries and plums.
Everyone looks upon fruits as necessary food items. In view of the fact that so many people do not have the digestive capacity to utilize these organic acids, for them the only wise course of action is to greatly limit the amounts consumed.
Although most patients I examined with fever blisters seemed to be traced to fruit consumption, some of course never touched fruit. I found, as your letter stated, that these generally were consuming nuts, and/or chocolate.
That observation also proved interesting as recent research on an entirely different tack has shown that diets high in arginine foods and low in lysine were in some way related to the herpes virus involved with oral cold sores, genital herpes, and shingles (herpes zoster).
Foods high in arginine are all kinds of nuts, peanut butter, cocoa powder, chocolate, sesame seeds, jello and buckwheat flour. Foods high in the amino acid lysine that can counteract the detrimental effects of the arginine are fish, chicken, beef, goat and cow’s milk, lamb, mung beans, meat, poultry, cheese, beans, brewers yeast, crustaceans, eggs and yogurt.
About treatment: Researchers have found L-lysine reduced symptoms of herpes 96 percent. If you suffer frequently, not only increase your use of lysine containing foods, but by all means seriously reduce the nuts, chocolate and other foods containing high amounts of arginine.
Even a small amount of nuts in a salad can trigger an attack in some individuals. Other foods that are higher in arginine than in lysine, are cereals, rice, infant’s teething biscuits, rye bread, rye crackers, and interestingly, oranges, tangerines, mangoes, blueberries and grapes.
Prevention of these very uncomfortable lesions can be achieved in great part by reducing the amounts of arginine foods in the diet and increasing those containing lysine. However, should you break out, promptly go to the pharmacy or health food store for a bottle of L-lysine tablets–not the plain form called lysine as it is not effective.
The dosage for L-lysine used by most physicians and dentists is one or two 500 mg. tablets, three times a day. Many people report relief of pain in one day. The quicker you take it after developing a cold sore, the better it works. Dr. Richard S. Griffith, professor of medicine at the Indiana School of Medicine, reported that L-lysine tablets resulted in a dramatic response to those suffering infectious mononucleosis.
Should local treatment still seem necessary, the oil from a vitamin E capsule dabbed on the lesions quickly relieves the pain. Vitamin C can also be applied topically and many have found it effective but they report that it stings when applied.
Lactobacillus acidophilus tablets or liquid, is very useful, as is yogurt or buttermilk. If you sense an ulcer coming on, a high dosage of vitamin B complex will sometimes abort the attack, but thereafter, it doesn’t seem helpful. Some have found that vitamin C powder placed on the ulcer quickly relieves its discomfort.
Next week in Part III, I will report the very interesting story of how researchers discovered the arginine lysine connection to the common problem of Herpes Simplex infections, and a bit more about treatment.