Also known as herpes zoster, shingles is an infection that causes a painful skin rash and blisters in a localized area on one side of the body. There is good evidence that the amino acid L-lysine (or just lysine) can help treat the virus and luckily, lysine is found in many foods. The spreading of shingles requires the virus to multiply, and the amino acid arginine that helps the herpes virus replicate. Lysine interferes with arginine and helps prevent herpes from spreading. The average 154-pound human requires 2.1 grams of lysine daily. It has to be ingested either through diet or as a supplement, as your body cannot produce it.
Despite being responsible for the spread of the herpes virus, arginine is another amino acid that performs necessary functions within the body. If the balance of arginine and lysine becomes lopsided, however, and the herpes zoster virus is already in your system, you may experience a shingles flare-up. The initial signs of shingles are an itchy or painful sensation in a finite area of skin, headaches, and a general unwell feeling. A few days later, a rash will appear on the skin on one side of the body. An outbreak on both sides of the body is unlikely to be shingles. Avoiding foods with arginine can prevent shingles outbreaks if you are prone to them. Foods with a high concentration of this amino acid include pecans, Brussel sprouts, and chocolate.
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