Learn a secret about preventing a build up of plaque

Lysine is an amino acid and it is critical for blood vessels

Vitamin CCredit: Sue Visser


A visible and painful sign that lysine levels plummet is the occurrence of fever blisters on the lips and around the mouth. The virus Herpes simplex flourishes in the absence of lysine and manifests as small blisters on the lips that tingle and sometimes burn. Uh Oh, then as every sufferer knows the next stage is the messy pulpy ulcerous stage with oozing scabs that just won’t heal. People get them when there is a change in temperature, when they have colds (also called cold sores) and when they are out in the sun and wind all day.

Other Herpes viruses such as Herpes Zoster (shingles) and Genital herpes also can make your life a misery when lysine levels dwindle. No shortage of painful lesions all round! Most people who have used Acyclovir and other magic creams and remedies find that after a while they become ineffective. The internet is a goldmine of information and cures are shared by bloggers. But what really hits the nail on the head are the bright sparks who have found the true cause of fever blisters. A deficiency of the amino acid called lysine. So what are we waiting for?

I work as a health researcher and product developer, so obviously need to treat the underlying cause to make a top-selling remedy. Many years ago I formulated one for fever blisters and obviously slammed it full of lysine. I am sure the other natural ingredients like lemon balm, olive leaf (anti-virus), myrrh, zinc, copper, camphor, tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil were also helpful, even if they only looked important on the label. It worked for my family. (Blood type A’s may be more affected by this deficiency.) For the past ten years it has been a successful product, according to the results people say they get - happy customers. We sell more during the hot, windy summer months.

The DIY solution to fever blisters

If you suffer constantly from fever blisters, try to get hold of some L-Lysine. You can help yourself by emptying out a capsule into to a blob of face cream or lotion. Smear it on as often as you can. But for more serious lesions, especially when people suffer from shingles Naturopaths usually recommend taking L-Lysine supplements. The herpes virus takes over if the amino acid arginine competes with arginine. While high doses of lysine (500-1500 mg/day) are beneficial during the suppression of viral growth, lesser amounts should be taken daily to prevent an amino acid imbalance problem. Lysine has a beneficial partnership with Vitamin C, as you will soon find out.

Lysine is found in many of our common foods and is not normally deficient in the diet.  The richest sources of lysine by far include red meats, fish, and dairy products (milk, eggs and cheese).  Vegetables however, are generally a poor source of lysine, with the exception of legumes (beans, peas, lentils). Lysine is also a key player in the production of various enzymes, hormones, and disease-fighting antibodies.  It is necessary for proper growth and helps form collagen which comprises bone cartilage, connective tissues and especially blood vessels.

Corn productsCredit: Sue Visser

Researchers are exploring the value of lysine supplementation and the consumption of lysine-rich foods for lowering cholesterol, improving athletic performance and enhancing recovery after surgery.  Lysine and Arginine are both beneficial amino acids but behave in different ways – and compete with each other. So if you increase arginine by taking too many arginine supplements or having binges of coffee, chocolate, popcorn and other corn products, oats, and nuts (especially peanuts) you may get fever blisters. But something more sinister happens to your blood vessels.


Another lysine deficiency took me by surprise!

Because Lysine helps repair tissue, it is a good supplement for anyone recovering from surgery and injuries. Lysine is helpful in lowering triglycerides and as an anti-aging factor.  It is involved in the structural maintenance and repair of damaged blood vessels.A lesser known role of lysine in terms of protecting us from less visible / painful health problems is its contribution to the strength and integrity of our collagen tissue. The triple helix collagen strands that are made from vitamin C and bound together with lysine collapse so the blood vessels weaken. If there is no vitamin C to make more collagen then the endothelial lining becomes inflamed and the damage has to be repaired. Deposits of cholesterol, fibrin and calcium form plaque - a sticky white substance we call atherosclerosis form over damaged parts of our blood vessels to repair them. But the collagen in the fibrin that forms the plaque patch is also very weak, due to what are commonly lysine deficiencies. The plaque scab or biofilm can break off and the fibrous bundle can travel towards an artery and block it. This can cause a fatal heart attack.


Research has shown that 300 mg. of vitamin C or more daily reduces heart attack rates by 50% and increases life span by about six years. It is thus essential to eat food that is rich in antioxidants and to take extra vitamin C and Lysine supplements. People who exclude fruit from the diet need more vitamin C, enzymes and flavonoids. Arginine is a primary vasodilator - it helps blood vessels to relax and let the blood flow freely. It helps to treat hypercholesterolemia and maintain optimal blood pressure. Arginine improves recovery after most types of heart surgery, especially after heart failure.

Most animals can generate a constant supply of Vitamin C to meet their daily requirements but we can’t. (Neither can hamsters, primates and bats.) So our arteries are damaged by oxidative stress when Vitamin C is lacking in the bloodstream to protect them. So to help us repair inflamed and thus damaged blood vessels we release Lp (a) - a lipoprotein rich in cholesterol. If we see these levels shooting up in a blood test we know that the arteries are affected by inflammatory damage and oxidative stress. So cholesterol is used to "waterproof" the leaks. Plasma Lp(a) levels above 50 mg/L had a 2 to 3 times the risk for heart attack (myocardial infarction).

So what about lysine and heart health?

But according to scientists like Linus Pauling "coronary heart disease" is not a disease at all. It is a vitamin C deficiency. We use it as an antioxidant, but also to produce collagen that vital elastic connective tissue that stops blood vessels and especially capillaries from weakening and becoming fuzzy and unravelled. Lysine is the amino acid that winds itself around bundles of collagen tissue to keep strands tightly bound and able to withstand the vascular pressure our arteries are subjected to. So in all the successful treatments for maintaining the strength and integrity of blood vessels both vitamin C and lysine are recommended. Now you know why it is obvious enough that when you get another round of fever blisters you are being told that your blood vessels are taking strain. Vitamin C deficiencies such as constipation and bleeding gums, frequent colds and blood clotting give one a fair warning to take supplements to make up the shortfall.

The coronary arteries typically suffer the most and begin to deteriorate first because they are subject to the greatest degree of mechanical stress from the pumping action of a beating heart and blood that is rich in oxygen (oxidative stress.) Bleeding gums are one of the first symptoms of a Vitamin C deficiency.  We need between 2 - 6 grams a day. A deficiency of Co Q10 can also have a negative impact on heart function, thus leaving the tissues more susceptible to free radical attack. (Statin drugs they use to treat cholesterol destroy this enzyme.)

Drugs only mask the symptoms of many basic vitamin deficiencies we have. So who knew that humans and hamsters can both have rotten shredded blood vessels when they don't eat enough natural sources of vitamin C. As for lysine - has anybody seen a hamster with them? If so, please give them some vitamin C and lysine- for the sake of their heart. You too, need to take more vitamin C when you are stressed out. They say we need 1000 mg a few times a day to cope with stress, let alone keep our arteries safe and sound.