During this time of year as the holidays are approaching, some will find the joy and spirit of the holiday season while others will find it challenging and stressful. It is those in the latter group that often experience compromised immune systems due to the increased stress, and for those who are susceptible, a cold sore flare up.
Cold sores are cause by the herpes simplex virus. This virus hides out deep in the DNA of the nerve ganglia where it can remain inactive for months or years. Issues like trauma, illness or stress will trigger the virus, causing reactivation down the nerve and then the formation of painful blisters around the lips, nose or inside the mouth.
One of AOR’s feature products this month is Cold Sore Prevent. This formula is comprised of two key ingredients: lysine and lactoferrin. With respect to lysine, this is an essential amino acid that has been shown to block the formation of the amino acid arginine, which is required for the herpes virus to replicate.
One double-blind, placebo-controlled study followed 52 participants with a history of herpes flare-ups. While receiving 3 g of L-lysine every day for 6 months, the treatment group experienced an average of 2.4 fewer herpes flare-ups than the placebo group—a significant difference. The lysine group’s flare-ups were also significantly less severe and healed faster.
Another double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study involving on 41 subjects also found a decreased frequency of cold sore outbreaks. Interestingly, this study found that 1,250 mg of lysine daily worked, but 624 mg did not.
The Cold Sore Prevent Product from AOR contains 500 mg of lysine per capsule, therefore a dose of three per day would get you into this therapeutic range. Clinically, I have had success with patients suffering from cold sores using doses of lysine in this range, both as an acute solution to help them heal from their cold sores but also as preventative medicine to reduce frequency and intensity of flare ups. In addition, I have used lysine in conjunction with antiviral medication like Valtrex (Valcyclovir) to help transition patients off this medication or to help reduce the need for it over time.
The second ingredient in the formula is lactoferrin, a whey protein derived from dairy. Lactoferrin has been shown to have a host of properties, not the least of which are possessing antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immune modulating activity. In vitro studies reveal that one of lactoferrin’s break down products; inhibit the herpes virus access to cells during viral replication at the level of the cell surface. Another component of lactoferrin known as lactoferricin has been shown to neutralize the virus inside the cell. A double whammy approach if you will.
So, it you are prone to cold sore flares this time of year and would like to work on halting their appearance over the holidays, may I suggest Cold Sore Prevent as a great option both for dealing with acute flare ups and to prevent re-occurrence in the future.
Griffith RS, Walsh DE, Myrmel KH, et al. Success of L-lysine therapy in frequently recurrent herpes simplex infection. Treatment and prophylaxis. Dermatologica . 1987;175:183-190.
McCune MA, Perry HO, Muller SA, et al. Treatment of recurrent herpes simplex infections with L-lysine monohydrochloride. Cutis . 1984;34:366-373.