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Regarding cold sores do sweets play any role at all? The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Jan 18, 1997

Regarding cold sores do sweets play any role at all?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Cold Sores (also known as Oral Herpes) are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. I found several studies that looked at dietary intake and recurrences of symptoms due to Herpes. Some studies suggested that a diet high in the amino acid Lysine (found in foods such as meat and dairy products) and low in the amino acid Arginine (found in foods such as legumes, whole grains, and nuts) can lead to fewer recurrences of symptomatic Herpes. In one study, they stated that Lysine will reduce the frequency of symptoms, but has no effect on the healing time, once symptoms are present. However other studies state that dietary intake of Lysine and Arginine do not affect the frequency of symptoms due to Herpes. In short, we really don't know whether diet has a significant effect on the number of outbreaks or not. I found no studies stating that "sweets" affected the frequency of outbreaks.

We do know that any type of stress on the body (physical and emotional) can lead to more frequent recurrences of symptoms due to Herpes. Stress reduction is perhaps one of the most important ways of reducing the number of outbreaks. Also, in persons with a damaged immune system (such as persons with AIDS), symptoms due to Herpes occurs more often, and can be more severe.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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