Foods That Can Lower the Frequency of Your Outbreaks

Patient Expert

Herpes is not a medical condition typically associated with diet; however, outbreaks of this painful virus have been linked to two amino acids. While the research is not conclusive, those who suffer from this virus are usually willing to try any remedy that may reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Research has found that people with herpes can benefit from a diet that is high in lysine and low in arginine. Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means it can not be synthesized in the body and must be consumed through food. This amino acid inhibits viral replication and therefore, experts say that a diet rich in lysine can reduce the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks.

Lysine is found in many foods, good sources include:

  • beef

  • cheese

  • eggs

  • potatoes

  • soybeans

  • fish

  • dairy products

The other amino acid associated with the herpes virus is arginine. The virus needs this amino acid to replicate and so a diet low in arginine can inhibit herpes. Foods high in arginine include:

  • legumes

  • whole grains

  • nuts The herpes virus has two forms. Herpes simplex 1 is more common and manifests in cold sores or fever blisters that form around the mouth. Herpes simplex 2 outbreaks are generally found around the genitals. However, both forms can result in painful blisters around the mouth or genitals.

It is important to be aware that this virus is very contagious. Once you have herpes, you will always have it. While it may lie dormant, it does not go away.