Herpes and the Vegan Diet (update)
Here is a response I got to the Herpes and the Vegan Diet post that I thought I’d share with everyone:
I have been veg for 24 years and vegan for 20. I have also had Herpes Simplex 1 for (approx) 22 years. I remember reading about it and discovering the same information your questioner found, eat foods high in lysine and low in arginine. This was very discouraging to my new love of veganism, but I was determined to not eat animal products – even if it compromised my health.
So when I had an outbreak, I bought vegetarian L-Lysine pills. It did the trick. I definitely healed much faster than when I didn’t take them, but I didn’t like supplementing. It was expensive and I hate taking pills. So I paid attention to what made an outbreak worse or better or come at all.
What I found was that stress was a huge factor. If I got some rest, slowed down, and focused on the positive, this was the best healing plan. Food was a factor as well, but it really had to do with how junky and processed the food was, not necessarily the lysine content. I did find higher lysine plant foods, but what really made the difference was to stop eating junk and eat whole grains, fruits and veggies in a more natural state, not highly processed, no added sugar/salt etc.
I tried both independently – high lysine foods vs. just cleaning my diet and eating super healthy for a few days and the latter worked the best. So I stopped supplementing and thinking about the lysine all together and focused on living and eating healthy. My outbreaks became fewer and fewer and now I haven’t had one in about 7 years.
Twenty years ago I thought my contracting Herpes was a curse, but now I look at it as a blessing that encouraged me to learn to eat and live healthy. I’m now a vibrant vegan of 40 (had my blood work run recently and everything is great) and I’ve never supplemented with anything else.