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What Is Super Lysine?

author image Allison Adams
Allison Adams has worked as a registered dietitian since 1996. She began writing professionally in 2000, with work featured in a variety of medical publications such as "Women's Health Magazine" and the "New England Journal of Medicine." Adams holds a Master of Science in nutrition and food sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Super lysine is an over-the-counter medication used to treat cold sores. You can find super lysine in both a topical application cream and an oral supplement. Manufactures of super lysine products claim that this medication helps to treat existing cold sores and prevents new cold sores from forming. As a type of herpes virus, cold sores represent a serious medical condition. You should seek medical attention before using any product to treat this condition, including super lysine.

Naturally Occurring Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid. Amino acids are the primary builders of protein and, therefore, many high-protein foods also contain natural lysine. Foods that contain lysine include meats, cheeses, certain fish, eggs, nuts and soybeans. In addition to supporting your overall health, the amino acid lysine also can help treat cold sores.

Lysine vs. Super Lysine

Manufacturers of super lysine claim that this product reduces more of the symptoms of cold sores than other over-the-counter treatments. Additionally, super lysine helps to completely heal the cold sore faster than other medications. Currently available clinical evidence, however, does not support these manufacturers' claims about super lysine.

Physical Makeup of Super Lysine

Super lysine is a combination of regular lysine with several other vitamins and nutrients added to increase the product’s efficacy. Additional ingredients found in super lysine include vitamins A, D and E and zinc oxide. Many manufacturers also include soothing ingredients such as honey, beeswax or oil. These additionally ingredients can help to sooth the cold sore and alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, burning and soreness. Some manufacturers also add herbal boosters to super lysine including echinacea and licorice.

How Lysine Helps Cold Sores

As an amino acid, lysine helps to treat cold sores by preventing the virus from replicating. This leads to a reduction in size, appearance and symptoms of the cold sores. Combined with the efforts of your natural immune system, the cold sore will eventually disappear. You can also use super lysine treatments if you feel the symptoms of the cold sore before the cold sore actually arrives.

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