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            Herpes affects 50% to 75% of adults, and possibly the same percentage of children.  Herpes is caused by a virus (Herpesvirus hominis) that remains in the body in a dormant state until the immune system is weakened by some stress such as colds, sunburn, or overtiredness.  At least in some people, the eating of low L-lysine foods such as nuts, seeds, and cereals causes a nutritional imbalance that favors growth of the Herpes virus.

            Herpes symptoms are the disfiguring, usually painful sores that appear on the skin and mucus membranes, including the lips, eyes and genital areas.  Herpes sores usually last one to three weeks, generally the latter.



            L-lysine is effective against Herpes because it suppresses the virus by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth.  A key factor in the suppression of Herpes virus is the ratio of the amino acids, L-lysine and arginine.  The greater the amount of L-lysine, the better the ratio of L-lysine to arginine, and the better the suppression of the virus.  There may be a genetic factor also, but the nutritional factor is certain.



            A leading dermatologist (Dr. S.R. of Manchester, Conn) recommends that people with active sores take two 500 milligram capsules three times a day for the first five days and then one 500 mg capsule three times a day for four to six months.[1]  Pain usually disappears overnight.  Inactive Herpes can be controlled in most people with just one 500mg capsule a day, especially after a L-lysine loading program as suggested above.



            The research involving L-lysine suppression of Herpes virus goes at least as far back as 1952 and has been especially active since 1970.  The first clinical trial is credited to Dr. Christopher Kagan (then at the UCLA School of Medicine and now at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Dermatology Section) in 1974.  This first clinical trial involved ten patients and was completely successful. 

            Dr. Kagan, along with Drs. Richard Griffith and Arthur Norins, followed the first trial with a larger number of patients.[2]  Of 45 patients receiving between 300 and 1200 mg of L-lysine daily, only two failed to respond (96% success).

[1] Personal Communication

[2] Kagan, C., Griffith, R., and Norins, A.  Dermatologica Vol 156  Pg 257-267 (1978).