I've researched this topic on all the sites I could find; read the list of foods high in Lysine to eat, and those containing Arginine to avoid (all my favorite foods). Has anyone had any success in altering their diets when outbreaks occur, or all the time?
Well, I have also tried to avoid foods high in Argrnine and I have to say that I'm really unsure about the results. Although it is a common recomendation to avoid argenine and increase Lysine, every study that I've read about which tested this idea came up unconclusive. It's just not a sure thing. I think it really depends on the person. Personally, I try to stay aware of how much argenine I take in, but I don't think it's really a cause of outbreaks for me.
However, it does give me some peace of mind to know that it MIGHT help so I do stick to it. I think the key is moderation. There's really no need to cut out argenine completely. Just don't go on a week long binge of peanuts, beer, and chocolate. Also, while argenine may possibly cause outbreaks, it is an immune system booster, so it's kind of a catch22.
Hope this helps.
[This message has been edited by CBGB (edited 01-09-2003).]
CBGB, thanks for the response. Actually, I'm still in a quandary about this topic. Before I ever heard of the lysine/arginine connection my favorite breakfast was whole grain oatmeal, raisens, fresh walnuts, rice-milk & coffee (all taboo foods) and the rest of my diet was similar. I would gobble down yams, blueberries, lots of nuts, tahini, eggplant, ETC.ETC. Well, to make a long story short.... I'm going to give this low arginine diet my best try. Don't know how long it will last (haha). Anyone else tried it with success or failure??????????
I've read one article that talks about how supplements of Lysine can make the body overly acidic, which itself can trigger OBs, so you should balance this with alkaline foods (the article suggests fruits, vegetables and beans).
I haven't found that high arginine foods makes any difference for me one way or the other. For instance, I go on peanut butter binges sometimes but haven't noticed that I have more OBs at those times.
I have taken a Lysine+ supplement since I was diagnosed. The lysine complex I take contains other herbs that are supposed to boost the immune system -- echinacea, garlic, propolis, licorice. Initially I was taking 1500 mg per day in an attempt to suppress OBs -- it didn't work.
However -- I still take the supplement just for the immune system boost, and I haven't been sick in over a year. I used to get every flu or illness that was going around the office, but the Lysine complex seems to help with that.
I actually posted about a week ago, questioning my back-to-back outbreaks. Someone mentioned taking L-Lysine supplements so I read up on it. I read taking 1000mg a day can help supress outbreaks or promote their healing. I figured it was worth a shot, the bottle was $7 at K-Mart... and like sunless said, if it didnt work, at least I'd be helping my immune system. So anyways, been taking them for about a week and no outbreak yet! I know it's only a week but when I say back-to-back outbreaks... I mean it. There was virtually no break in-between the OBs, certainly not a week. Of course I'm not saying I'm cured or anything like that... and it does depend on the person. But it seems to me that the supplements are helping at least a little.
My doctor recommended Lysine to me; she said it DOES help in boosting the immune system - so I'm confident that it's worthwhile to take it. However, I started this thread more to examine the FOOD connection; that is eating real food high in lysine and avoiding those foods that are high in arginine. I've always believed in the concept of "you are what you eat" and have tried to manipulate my health with food. I'm just not sure it really works and I'd like to hear from anyone who has tried the high lysine/low arginine diet.