Lysine is an essential amino acid and a building block for protein. Lysine is necessary for normal growth and muscle turnover. L-Lysine is important for collagen formation. Lysine is a key precursor of carnitine, a compound that helps the body turn fat into energy. L-Lysine also promotes calcium uptake in the body.1

Lysine in treating cold sores

Lysine may help to slow down or prevent the growth of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), the virus responsible for cold sores. Lysine protects against and treats cold sores by blocking arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that is essential for the replication of HSV-1 and the progression of viral infections. The role of arginine in viral replications has been proved in many in-vitro studies, where arginine deficiency was found to suppress HSV-1 replication and hamper viral development.2,3

Lysine blocks the viral growth-promoting action of arginine. Lysine helps prevent the body from absorbing arginine, making it difficult for HSV-1 to grow and reproduce.2

Study by Griffith et al. evaluated the effects of oral L-lysine monohydrochloride for the prevention and treatment of recurrent herpes simplex infection. The study contained two groups – treatment group and placebo. The treatment group, which comprised 27 subjects, was given L-Lysine monohydrochloride tablets three times a day for six months. 25 subjects were on placebo. The study found that the group receiving lysine had an average of 2.4 less HSV infections. The study concluded that L-Lysine is an effective agent for reducing occurrence, severity, and healing time for recurrent HSV infection.4

Lysine Reduces the Duration and Frequency of Cold Sores

Lysine is an effective agent for reducing the occurrence, severity, and healing time for recurrent HSV infection. Lysine may help prevent HSV from being more active.5

A study by Ayala E et al. evaluated the effect of L-lysine monohydrochloride on cutaneous herpes simplex virus in the guinea pig. The study found that lysine-treated skin remained clinically normal; whereas, untreated controls displayed clinical symptoms for nearly three days post-inoculation.6

Lysine also suppresses the clinical manifestations of HSV infection. A study in which oral L-lysine was daily given to 45 patients with frequently recurring herpes infection found that lysine accelerated recovery from herpes simplex infection and suppressed disease recurrence.7

Singh et al. evaluated the safety and effectiveness of an L-Lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of herpes infection. The study, comprising 30 subjects, measured the cold sores by evaluating the extent of symptoms such as tingling, itching, burning, tenderness, prickling, soreness, bump/swelling, blisters, and crusting. The study also evaluated before-and-after photographs of the lesion and a daily diary. At the end of treatment, the cream with lysine, herbs, vitamins, and zinc cleared cold sores in 40 percent of the participants by the third day and 87 percent by the end of the sixth day. There were no adverse effects reported during this study.8

Lysine in Wound Repair

Wound healing is a complex phenomenon that requires different minerals, vitamins, and other factors. Lysine plays an essential role in wound healing.

Lysine is essential for the formation of collagen. Collagen is an essential protein that gives structure to the skin and affects wound repair. Collagen synthesis requires hydroxylation of lysine and proline, and co-factors such as ferrous iron and vitamin C. Impaired wound healing results from deficiencies in any of these co-factors. During biosynthesis, collagen acquires a number of post-translational modifications, including lysine modifications, which are vital to collagen’s structure and biological functions.9,10

Apart from support collagen formation, lysine may also act as a binding agent, thereby increasing the number of new cells at a wound. Animal studies indicate that lysine may speed up wound healing and reduce recovery time. In animal tissue, lysine was found to become more active at the site of a wound. This process activated cell function as well as regulated gene expression to promote tissue repair. Lysine may also promote the formation of new blood vessels.9


    1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 5962, Lysine. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
    2. Griffith RS, DeLong DC, Nelson JD. Relation of arginine-lysine antagonism to Herpes simplex growth in tissue culture. Chemotherapy 1981;27:209-213.
    3. Mailoo VJ, Rampes S. Lysine for Herpes Simplex Prophylaxis: A Review of the Evidence. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2017;16(3):42-46.
    4. 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(4):183-90.
    5. Thein DJ, Hurt WC. Lysine as a prophylactic agent in the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex labialis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1984;58(6):659-666. 
    6. Ayala E, Krikorian D. Effect of L-lysine monohydrochloride on cutaneous herpes simplex virus in the guinea pig. J Med Virol 1989;28:16-20.
    7. Griffith RS, Norins AL, Kagan C. A multicentered study of lysine therapy in Herpes simplex infection. Dermatologica. 1978;156(5):257-67. doi: 10.1159/000250926. PMID: 640102.
    8. Singh BB, Udani J, Vinjamury SP, et al. Safety and effectiveness of an L-lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of facial and circumoral herpes. Altern Med Rev. 2005;10(2):123-127.
    9. Yamauchi M, Sricholpech M. Lysine post-translational modifications of collagen. Essays Biochem. 2012;52:113-133.
    10. Guo S, Luisa A. DiPietro LA. Factors affecting wound healing. J Dent Res. 2010 Mar; 89(3): 219–229.

Life Is Smiles

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herlip™ Cold Sore Rapid Relief Gel – World's First 8x Multi-Action Formula for Cold Sores

The Future of Cold Sore Treatment

herlip™ cold sore rapid relief gel is a world-first 8x multi-action formula used for rapidly treating the symptoms and signs associated with cold sores. The result of 6 years of research and development, this unique eco-friendly antiviral product with 30+ naturally-sourced ingredients, soothes, treats, and rapidly improves cold sores.

Packed with fast-acting ingredients and zero harsh chemicals, herlip™ cold sore rapid relief gel is the safe, effective choice for cold sore management. herlip™ cold sore rapid relief gel contains a unique combination of nine (9) active ingredients:

  • Leptospermum Australian Manuka honey 50mg/g,
  • Zinc Oxide 38mg/g,
  • Lysine 14.9mg/g,
  • Propolis Liquid Extract 12mg/g,
  • Melissa Officinalis 10.5mg/g,
  • Glycine 10mg/g,
  • Menthol 1.2mg/g,
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 1mg/g
  • Ubiquinol-10 (CoQ10) 500 Microgram/g

Our 8x multi-action formula is unlike any other on the market.  It simultaneously provides; antiviral action against HSV-1, assistance with wound healing, relief by soothing and cooling the area, acting as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, giving an anti-itch effect, and, finally, moisturizing the affected area.

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