Are Your Food Choices Causing Your Cold Sores?
Are Your Food Choices Causing Your Cold Sores?

Are Your Food Choices Causing Your Cold Sores?

The foods we eat can either cause or prevent cold sores. Nutrition is probably the least talked about in regard to cold sores but food is a very powerful cold sore treatment.

This article does not offer specific recipes, but it does reveal the cold sore preventing foods. It will also give you an idea which foods to avoid when cold sores are a problem, and why.

Best of all, you will find that you do not have to do without the food items you love. You just need to balance them throughout the day.


Cold sores are the result of millions of cells damaged during the replication process of the herpes simplex virus.

It works like this.

Herpes simplex virus enters surface nerve cells and forces them to create new virus particles. The virus then destroys the cell to release this new herpes virus. Many destroyed cells create the open ulcer we call a cold sore, fever blister or oral herpes outbreak.


Arginine is an amino acid and the primary protein in the creation of herpes simplex virus. Your cells store arginine in a specific area within the cell.

Lysine, another common amino acid, is quite similar to arginine. It also is stored in the same area as arginine within the cell. Lysine, however, does not support new virus creation.

The more you flood your cells with lysine, the less room them will have to store arginine. The herpes virus cannot create a cold sore without sufficient arginine. It is just that simple.


Most foods contain both lysine and arginine. Some are higher in one than the other. Foods that are high in lysine will help to stop and prevent cold sores because will store the excess lysine and force out the arginine.

Food choices that contain higher levels of lysine are most meats - including fish, chicken, beef and turkey. I would avoid pork because it tends to cause acidity in the body - which also encourages cold sores.

Eggs and dairy products are generally very high in lysine - as are soy products and brewers yeast.

Ricotta cheese and Wisconsin made cheddar are excellent sources of body-ready lysine. Flounder - a fish - contains the highest levels of lysine of any known food. 450 grams (one pound) of flounder gives you about 14,000 milligrams of lysine.


Food items that are higher in arginine than lysine can actually cause cold sores to occur. If you suffer from frequent and slow-healing sores, you may want to reduce these foods temporarily.

Most nuts and seeds contain high arginine content. In addition, grains (oats and wheat) provide high levels of arginine. Most vegetables and beans are arginine providers. These include beans, eggplant, radishes and rutabagas.

Chocolate is probably the biggest offender with very high levels of arginine.


As you can see, many highly nutritious foods are high arginine foods. You cannot avoid them too long if you want to maintain optimum health. And you do not need to avoid them.

The key is balance. No one food will cause cold sores. But by the end of the day you want to have taken in more lysine than arginine. This means you may have to increase your intake of the lysine foods during your cold sore times.

Or you can try what thousands of others are doing.


Lysine is also available in supplement form - usually 500-milligram capsules. It is cheap and easy to find in many stores where you find vitamins. It is a very safe protein.

Although supplement lysine does not absorb as well as food lysine, it still will work. You just need to take higher doses. During a cold sore, most people take about 4000 milligrams spread throughout the day.

Every person is different and must develop their own cold sore treatment program. Hopefully, by focusing on how lysine and arginine affects cold sore production, you will find your way to being cold sore free in no time.

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