The Amino Acid Lysine

Does it Work?

Lysine is a necessary component for building muscle protein in the body. It is considered an essential amino acid, which means two things: you need it, and since it cannot be synthesized by your body, it must be obtained in your diet.

Lysine is often mentioned as a canker sore treatment, probably because it is said to have antiviral properties. If the cause of canker sores is related to a virus, then lysine should help in mitigating their arrival. But researchers say it isn’t.

lysine

Lysine capsules may help ward of cold sores

The reason lysine has an effect against cold sores has to do with the way the herpes virus utilizes the amino acid arginine for replication. Remember, cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are caused by the herpes virus, canker sores are not.

Eating arginine-rich foods (e.g., chocolate, nuts and seeds) gives the herpes virus an ingredient it needs to become active.

For some reason, when you consume sufficient quantities of lysine, it somehow balances out or interferes with herpes’ ability to utilize the arginine you eat.

So if you get cold sores and like to eat nuts and seeds, pop a lysine capsule or two at the same time and you’ll lessen the chance that you’ll get a cold sore.

Consuming lysine may not help in your quest to conquer your canker sore outbreaks, but it’s worth a try. Lysine is fairly inexpensive and ingesting extra lysine occasionally won’t hurt you.

As a first line of defense, switching to an SLS-free toothpaste, such as one of these, is probably a better strategy in combating mouth sores.

To see some natural home remedies for canker sores, click here.