If you frequent vitamin and health food stores, you may have heard about lysine. Perhaps you’ve read about this versatile, essential amino acid in a magazine or book. Yet you may not know whether lysine for angular cheilitis is a worthwhile option.

Let’s first put a spotlight on some of lysine’s purported benefits:

1) It repairs damaged tissue and builds muscle. Adequate lysine reserves, either from food or supplement form, can help the body recover faster and heal from injury;

2) Lysine deficiency has been linked to depression. By increasing reserves of lysine, the body’s serotonin levels increase, lifting one’s spirit;

3) The amino acid bolsters the immune system. Folks who are lysine-deficient are more predisposed towards illness; and

4) Studies reveal that lysine ointments, balms, and creams, and L-lysine in supplement form, can help many cold sore sufferers within 3-6 days. It inhibits the replication of the cold sore virus, hastens the healing process, and can lower the number of cold sore outbreaks over the course of time.

Despite the listed aforementioned benefits, lysine only gets a lukewarm endorsement from us. We’re not aware of any study that shows lysine’s efficacy in eradicating angular cheilitis. However, enhancing the immune system and reducing stress will foster optimal conditions to help our bodies heal ourselves.

The connection between lysine and cold sores also merits interest. If lysine blocks the replication of certain viruses, perhaps it can also lower the colonies of offending bacteria or fungi. It’s worth a try and topical lysine application and oral supplementation may prove synergistic.

Lysine is well-tolerated by most healthy adults. On the other hand, pregnant women and nursing mothers should consult with their physician if they opt to use lysine. The recommended oral dose is 500-1000 mg. daily. Supplement for a week and see whether the angular cheilitis improves. Simultaneously, you can apply a topical solution containing lysine to derive (potential) additional benefit.

You may also consume foods that are high in lysine, including beef, brewer’s yeast, chicken, meat, milk, fish, and cheese. However, two quick caveats: Food, such as meat, while high in lysine, are acid-forming, and may thus increase bacteria or fungi activity. Moreover, we should try to eat a healthy, balanced diet where the proportion of lysine, for example should be balanced with arginine, another essential amino acid, Too much lysine may create an arginine deficiency. Nevertheless, while your battling with angular cheilitis, you can tip the balance in favor of lysine for the short term.

Experiment with lysine and see if your lips and mouth tissues improve, and your angular cheilitis subsides.

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