Foods To Avoid With Cold Sores, Fever Blisters and Oral Herpes

Published: 28th January 2008
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Foods to avoid with cold sores are those that are particularly high in arginine and have low levels of lysine. In this article you will learn about the key foods that have the biggest effect on your cold sores.

Lysine and arginine are two common amino acids found in foods. They are the two most widely researched nutrients that affect cold sores.

Here is how they work.

Cold sore outbreaks are caused by the reproduction of the herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. This very tiny virus enters a nerve cell on your lip (or nose) and forces that cell to create virus copies. The cell, when full, is destroyed to release the new virus. This creates the visible cold sore.

Arginine is a protein fraction that is essential in the production of new herpes virus. Your nerve cells have a storage area within the cell specifically for arginine.

Your cells store lysine in the same area. New virus cannot be created using lysine.

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.

With enough lysine in your diet, quite often the herpes virus cannot replicate and will go back into hibernation. This can stop a cold sore from developing any further.

Here are some common foods to avoid with cold sores. These foods are known to contain high levels of arginine.

---- Any type of milk or dark chocolate




---- Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts

---- Flax, sesame and most other seeds




---- Shell type seafood such as oysters and crab




---- Grains such as wheat and oats




---- Oranges, grapes and other fruits and berries





---- Most vegetables are neutral but avoid rutabagas, winter squash and pumpkins, broccoli, carrots and corn

Avoiding certain foods can be hard. Some foods above are very important for your health needs. They are considered nutrient dense essential foods. Quite likely you could go a week or so without them during the cold sore event without harm.

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.

An excellent alternative solution to avoiding foods you love is to increase your lysine during your cold sore event. Increasing intake of lysine will also help prevent future cold 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.

Fish (flounder is super-rich in lysine), chicken, beef, eggs, apples, papaya, beets, and all dairy products. Cheeses and yogurt are very rich in lysine. These will provide a preferred lysine to arginine ratio of 2 to 1.

Yes, I realize following a restricted diet is difficult for most people. Also, dairy products may be rich in lysine but cannot be tolerated by some folks. Fact is, I have not followed these avoidance guidelines very good myself.

The best solution, for your convenience and good health, might be taking an additional lysine supplement. It generally comes in 500 mg. capsules and is available nearly anywhere vitamins are sold. Many folks take six to eight of these capsules a day during a cold sore and one or two capsules daily to prevent cold sores.

Is large dose lysine safe?

Lysine is perfectly safe. Eight capsules daily is only 4000 mg., or 4 grams. No bad side effects have ever been noted. You often exceed this just by eating food alone. A four-ounce serving of flounder, for example, will provide the equivalent of 4 to 5 grams of lysine. The capsules are just more convenient.

Do not give up the foods you love - especially chocolate. Eat additional high lysine food or take lysine capsules. This will cancel out the bad effects of the foods to avoid with cold sores.

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