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The Benefits of Lysine

Published: February 11, 2009

Dear Dr. SerVaas,

Many years ago, your column about lysine solved my problem with mouth sores. Now I would like to return the favor. June Jordan, in the September/October 2008 issue, wrote about her hands cramping. There is a simple solution: I was having leg cramps at night, and a friend told me about putting a bar of soap between the sheets where my legs rest. Lo and behold, the cramps disappeared within two or three minutes.

Last night, I awoke with my right fingers curling up in a cramp. I tried the “soap treatment” and went back to sleep. In the morning, my fingers were uncurled and pain-free. My pharmacist was unable to tell me what ingredient in soap would stop muscle cramps. Might you be able to solve the mystery? Your comments would be greatly appreciated—your column is invaluable to me.


Dr. Dr. SerVaas,

In response to the lady who has hand cramps when taking calcium. I too get severe muscle cramps in my legs when I take calcium supplements. I haven’t found an answer other than to not take calcium supplements and get my calcium from food sources. I just wanted Ms. Jordan to know she isn’t alone.


We may never know why soap may help relieve muscle cramps. Should we ever experience the problem, however, we will probably give it a try. Loyal Post readers like you are among our best sources of remedies that may work.

Lysine is an inexpensive and safe amino acid. To treat mouth sores caused by the herpes simplex virus, the late Dr. Richard Griffith recommended a daily lysine dose of 500 milligrams per 22 pounds of body weight. Lesser amounts help avoid outbreaks. Lysine supplements are not known to interact with medications.

For more about lysine, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Lysine, 1100 Waterway Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Send your letters to Medical Mailbox, 1100 Waterway Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202 or e-mail: [email protected]

Please include your mailing address. Medical Mailbox and From the Pharmacy supplements the advice of your health care provider, whom you should consult for personal medical problems.

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  • Jack Reed

    The Sep81 issue offered a survey for cancer victims and finding a solution to cancer. I was watching a Feb 82 broadcast of the ‘700 Club’ where Dr. SerVas boldly state that taking 1 gram of L-Lysine per day would eliminate any concern for cancer. That was published in SEP in May 82. Do you still hold to his claim?

  • Ron McManigal

    It’s been a lot of years since I first read the Readers Digest article, “Does L-Lysine Stop Herpes?” and I have been a faithful user ever since. I have had “Chicken Pox”, “Shingles” and prior to the L-Lysine use, had been troubled by frequent cold sores. I take L=Lysine regularly and if I feel an outbreak coming on, I double and sometimes triple the dosage until the sumptoms are gonel I am now 79 years old and live in a retirement community where a lot of the seniors are being troubled with “Shingles”. I am an ardent advocate of L-Lysine use and have tried to introduce my friends to it’s use. The trouble I have is that the only information I can show them, other than my experience are articles on the web which says that the maximum dose is 1000mg per day, I’ve tried to convince them that they can and should take more when outbreaks occur.

    Do you know of any authorative article that advocates heavy usage of L-Lysine. If you do, I’d greatly appreciate knowing where to get it so my argument for L-Lysine will have more strength.

    Thank you,

    Ron McManigal

  • Tye Jung

    I lost my old faded 1982 article entitled, “Does L-Lysine Stop Herpes?” I have lent it to many others I have met with similar challenges as I have. I have been trying to live by the recommendations since 1982 and have certainly minimized outbreaks of cold sores considerably. I have recently stopped eating most wheat products (I love bread) and am considering introducing other foods with some arginine.
    Thank you for your assistance.

  • Joyce Lantzman

    I would like to know more about the appropriate ratio of L-lysine to arginine inorder to control herpes zoster through foods high in each of these amino acids.

    thank you

  • Joyce Lantzman

    I have a very faded July/Aug 1982 copy of your article, “Does L-Lysine Stop Herpes?”
    I would like to have a fresh copy if you feel the info is till applicable. I am
    especially interested in the dietary balance of l-lysine to arginine.
    What is the recommended ratio to prevent or control herpes zoster outbreaks?

    Thank you.