When it comes to viral infections, many consider cold sores or Herpes Simplex 1 to be “no big deal”, and regard them as inconsequential. However they are not!
The evidence linking this "simple" infection to Alzheimer's Disease has been around for over a decade, and continues to grow. [1,2]
The point is: to maintain your brain health DO NOT take cold sores lightly... Do something about them as soon as possible!
The evidence linking this "simple" infection to Alzheimer's Disease has been around for over a decade, and continues to grow.
For those who care about the explanation for why this connection exists, see below. For those who don't and just want to DO something about it, remember that the amino acid L-Lysine inhibits the replication of the herpes virus, and on the other hand L-Arginine promotes it. But before you go on a rampage getting rid of arginine in your diet, remember that there are many healthy foods like nuts and seeds for example that are high in Arginine. What is important is the balance, i.e. how much Lysine you are getting relative to Arginine.
Foods rich in Lysine include meats, cheese, fish, eggs, soybeans, but this can be very problematic for vegetarians or vegans... especially those who react to soy.
Herpes is a latent infection, so lysine doesn't kill it, it simply puts it into a more dormant state. If you deal with cold sores, paying attention to your Lysine status on an ongoing basis is a very wise idea!
Obviously, supplementing L-Lysine is the most direct way to ensure you are getting plenty, and for those dealing with cold sores, taking high doses on an empty stomach for 1-3 or more days can be extremely helpful.
My personal regimen
As soon as I feel that burning tingle or itch start to develop, I take (on an empty stomach):
- 2500mg of lysine up to four times (4x) on Day 1
- The same dose, three times (3x) on Day 2
- The same dose, twice (2x) on Day 3
- Once on Day 4-5 if the remnants are still there
I also add antivirals like propolis, found in our Bee-Immune to enhance the effect. I take 3 capsules each time I take the lysine.
So hit it hard and taper off. If I do this usually within 1 to 4 days the sore is gone/or never develops to begin with. (And remember, time is of the essence…the more quickly you start the lysine, and/or antivirals, the quicker the sore will abate. Having the right things on hand can make the difference.
Yet, herpes is a latent infection, so this doesn't kill it, it simply puts it into a more dormant state. Hence, paying attention to your Lysine status on an ongoing basis is a good idea!
For a simple view of how or why there is a link between Herpes Simplex and Alzheimers, consider that your brain is intimately dependent on producing energy through a highly efficient method, i.e., via the mitochondria using oxygen. Yet when the herpes virus hangs out in your neurons, or moves down ganglia to your face creating a cold sore, inflammation results.
The inflammation shuts down the mitochondria's ability to use oxygen and produce energy.
With their energy supply cut-off, or dramatically reduced, your brain cells malfunction. Along with this inflammatory oxygen/energy deficit comes a decrease in mental performance, and a decrease in the neuron’s ability to maintain themselves or “do their housekeeping”. Then, misguided attempts to heal lead to the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s like beta-amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and more inflammation. .
For further discussion of mechanisms see the studies referenced section below, or simply search it online.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8234998/Published online 2021 Jun 21 Overwhelming Evidence for a Major Role for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV1) in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD); Underwhelming Evidence against
- Itzhaki R.F. Herpes simplex virus type 1 and Alzheimer’s disease: Possible mechanisms and signposts. FASEB J. 2017;31:3216–3226. doi: 10.1096/fj.201700360. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
Thank you so much, John, for speaking about “the unspeakable”. More people need to know how to take care of this aspect in our life too, along with everything else. Keep up the very good work.