Using Arginine with Herpes

Q I am wondering if you can answer a question about ProSexual Plus. On the label it says not to use the product if a person has herpes. Almost everyone has herpes. Would you say not to take it if one has active herpes? Or should people not take it if they have been infected with the herpes virus even if they aren't having any eruptions at present?

Please explain this to me. I will be grateful. 
RL, DMD

A Dear Dr RL, 
The primary ingredient in ProSexual Plus is arginine. Arginine is also found in Life Enhancement's InnerPower in even higher concentrations per serving. These items provide multiple benefits including enhanced muscle tone/mass, immune function, memory and sexual function. Arginine is also well known for its growth-hormone releasing properties.

However, some individuals can at times become more sensitive to herpes outbreaks when taking arginine products. Actually, arginine does not "cause" a herpes eruption but rather it exacerbates the replication of the virus of an impending or an active outbreak.

There is no absolute contraindication for taking arginine with the herpes virus, unless you have a life- threatening form of the herpes virus, such as brain herpes, or if you have ocular (of the eye) herpes. If you have either of these or if you have an uncommon type of herpes, you should not take an arginine supplement. In generally-healthy individuals, however, the concern is more that it is a nuisance to have a herpes outbreak. If you get an outbreak while taking arginine consider cutting back your amount of intake. Or you may stop taking arginine as soon as you suspect an outbreak; then resume when it clears up. BHT and certain prescription drugs are effective for hastening the resolution of herpes lesions.

Lysine has historically been a popular treatment for herpes; however, the scientific literature reflects an unclear track record in this regard. Moreover, new data indicates an excess of lysine is strongly implicated in producing unwanted effects: increased production of AGEs, advanced glycosylation end products.1 This process is very undesirable, and is now considered a benchmark for aging. AGEs are associated with pathophysiological changes with aging and disease processes, including the neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. They are also speculated to play a role in their pathogenesis. I do not recommend lysine.

It is true that the herpes virus is ubiquitous but everyone's sensitivity to a herpes outbreak is different. Each person needs to work with their own individual body chemistry until an appropriate intake regimen is achieved.

Hope this has been helpful. 
Dr V

Reference

  1. Niwa H, Takeda A, Wakai M, Miyata T, Yasuda Y, Mitsuma T, Kurokawa K, Sobue G. Accelerated formation of N epsilon-(carboxymethyl) lysine, an advanced glycation end product, by glyoxal and 3-deoxyglucosone in cultured rat sensory neurons. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1998 Jul 9;248(1):93-79.