CISRA’s Synergy Health Newsletter

Issue 10. Lysine, Arginine and Viral Infections (2007)

by J. C. Waterhouse, Ph.D.

There is evidence that the ratio of the amino acid arginine to lysine in the diet affects the replication of Herpes simplex virus. One may find it helpful to minimize arginine-containing foods (nuts are particularly high in arginine) and/or balance out the arginine with lysine, particularly when under stress.

Some people have also found that being mindful of their lysine and arginine consumption is helpful in prevention and treatment of Shingles (also in the Herpes family). An article in the Saturday Evening Post has described potential benefits in chronic fatigue sydrome in cases where viruses in the Herpes family are involved (these include Epstein-Barr virus and Cytomegalovirus) based on the work of the late Dr. Richard Griffith of Indiana University. The main thing to remember is that nuts and plant based proteins (like rice protein powder) have the most arginine relative to lysine and dairy products have the lowest. Meats are in between and the higher protein foods will be the ones to pay the most attention to since they have the highest concentrations arginine and lysine. This article includes a list of arginine and lysine content of foods: http://herpes.com/Nutrition.shtml. If one prefers, the lysine can be taken in supplemental form. For cold sores, Dr. Griffith recommended 500 mg of lysine per 22 pounds of body weight daily.

Studies: Relation of arginine-lysine antagonism to Herpes simplex growth in tissue culture. Griffith RS , DeLong DC , Nelson JD. Chemotherapy, 27(3): 209-13 1981 Abstract excerpt: “In the studies conducted, arginine deficiency suppressed Herpes simplex virus replication in tissue culture. Lysine, an analog of arginine, as an antimetabolite, antagonized the viral growth-promoting action of arginine….”

A multicentered study of lysine therapy in Herpes simplex infection. Griffith RS, Norins AL, Kagan C. Dermatologica, 156(5): 257-67 1978 Abstract excerpt: “Lysine appears to suppress the clinical manifestations of Herpes virus infection. 45 patients with frequently recurring Herpes infection were given 312-1,200 mg of lysine daily in single or multiple doses. The clinical results demonstrated a beneficial effect from supplementary lysine in accelerating recovery from Herpes simplex infection and suppressing recurrence…..”

Written by synergyhn

October 28, 2008 at 4:26 am

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