LYSINE/ARGININE RATIO IN FOODSIt has certainly been a challenging winter here on the east coast, as with many other parts of the country, and has definitely added to my stress level! I have also found myself eating more of the foods that make me feel better such as dark chocolate and nuts, including peanut butter. this seems to have set me up for the "perfect storm" as far as shingles/herpes is concerned. So I felt it was good to share my latest episode and course of action.
Ten days ago, I felt that all too familiar twinge of sensitivity on the left side of my head. Being away from home at the time, I just had two 500 mg lysine caps on me and immediately took them. But it was 6 hours before I was again home and the virus had taken hold on the side of my head and face. All through the night, I took 1,000 mg of lysine every 2 to 3 hours. By the next day, the outbreak was subsiding. But not without the usual reminders; canker sores at the back of my gums on the right side and an achy, wiped out feeling to my body. Feeling much better by the second day, though still very tired, I cut back on the amount of lysine. That was a mistake because a day later, the virus then shifted to the right side of my head and face with all the same symptoms! I hadn't experienced this before and was not happy about it. But again upping my lysine intake, I also started thinking about the ratio of lysine/arginine in the foods I had been eating. On line, my research brought me to a site, http://www.herpes.com/Nutrition.shtml, which has a pretty extensive chart with that information. I also wanted to find out if taking large amounts of lysine on a daily basis was at all harmful and found this from livestrong.com, "Doctors commonly prescribe lysine supplementation to treat and prevent cold sores and genital herpes outbreaks. The University of Michigan Health System notes most doctors suggest regularly supplementing with 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily if you suffer recurrent outbreaks of either form of the herpes virus. The University of Maryland notes doses of 3,000 mg to 9,000 mg daily might help treat active outbreaks." Also, "In a review of studies on lysine supplementation published in the February 1997 issue of the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition," the author noted that very high doses -- 15 g to 40 g daily -- caused side effects like diarrhea and abdominal cramping." The amounts I took during this last episodes were not even close to the 15 g. So I am not concerned about taking too much and decided to take 1,000 mg three times a day for the next couple weeks. Being on a higher dosage, I'm sure I will be eating some dark chocolate and nuts but also increasing lysine rich foods in my diet and doing things such as yoga to help manage my stress.
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I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. These are just my experiences and conclusions.