The Best Supplements & Vitamins for Genital Herpes (& What to Avoid)
Genital herpes, also known as herpes simplex, doesn’t have a cure. It’s a lifelong infection, which isn’t the news you want to hear, but herpes can be treated and effectively managed. Beyond prescriptions and medications, there are many supplements and vitamins for genital herpes.
You may be able to reduce pain, irritation, and inflammation with the help of vitamins and supplements. Just keep in mind that these natural remedies don’t replace advice from your doctor; they simply help improve and strengthen your body’s response to the herpes virus.
How Much Can Vitamins or Supplements Really Help?
Vitamins and supplements support your body’s natural healing processes in different ways.
Vitamins perform hundreds of essential roles in the body, from bolstering your immune system to repairing cellular damage. So it makes sense that taking vitamins may supercharge your body’s ability to fight the herpes virus and keep it at bay. Though vitamins can’t replace antiviral drugs like valacyclovir, they can certainly strengthen your body’s defense mechanisms.
Supplements, meanwhile, do just what their name suggests; they support the body’s natural ability to heal by giving it what it might not get through food alone. Since supplements aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s important to discuss your supplement choices with a doctor before changing your routine.
These Studies Prove Vitamin Deficiencies Do Impact Herpes Outbreaks
Vitamin deficiencies stunt your body’s ability to function properly, especially in relation to your immune system. Since your immune system houses your body’s main defense from herpes outbreaks, it’s no surprise that research suggests vitamin deficiencies do influence the impact of the herpes simplex virus.
A study on micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, and vitamins, for example, found that deficiencies in vital nutrients may reduce the function of the “killer cells” that defend against infectious agents. The herpes simplex virus is one such infectious agent that gains easier access into the body when your immune system isn’t working at full capacity.
Another study showed that zinc deficiency is linked to serious immune system disruptions and negative health effects. One zinc supplementation occurred, researchers observed decreased oxidative stress and reduced inflammation in the body.
These studies indicate the real impact that vitamins and supplements may have on your mission to prevent and treat herpes outbreaks.
The Top 5 Vitamins for Genital Herpes
What are the best vitamins for genital herpes, according to scientific studies and anecdotes? Vitamin A, B, C, D, and zinc round out the list of vitamins proven to help alleviate and prevent genital herpes outbreaks.
Research shows that higher doses of vitamin E may reduce stress on the immune cells. When faced with less oxidative stress, the immune system can more effectively combat free radicals, viruses, pathogens, and other foreign invaders. This in turn bolsters your body’s ability to fend off viral infections like herpes.
Vitamin B Complex
The full range of B vitamins serves many critical roles in your body, including healthy cell growth, metabolism, and energy. You need all of these functions in full force to respond to an active outbreak of herpes.
According to recent studies, vitamin C has demonstrated the ability to accelerate the healing of herpes outbreaks. The ascorbic acid in vitamin C inactivates a wide range of viruses in vitro, including herpes simplex.
One small, double-blind trial reported that patients treated with 200 mg ascorbic acid and 200 mg water-soluble citrus flavonoids, three times daily for three days, experienced 57% shorter time until remission of symptoms than the placebo group.
Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for immune system function. If you’re experiencing vitamin D deficiency, you may be more susceptible to genital herpes outbreaks. By increasing your intake of vitamin D, you easily strengthen your immune system and give your body a better chance of combating the herpes virus. Egg yolks, red meat, and salmon are three rich sources of vitamin D.
Research shows that zinc ions are active against the herpes simplex virus and may even extend the time between outbreaks. Since zinc ions inhibit the replication of HSV-1 and 2 in vitro, zinc supplementation is believed to decrease the severity of herpes infections and limit them altogether.
The Top 4 Supplements for Genital Herpes
In addition to vitamins, research supports the use of certain supplements to alleviate symptoms and outbreaks triggered by the herpes simplex virus.
Research is still ongoing, but recent reports suggest that daily lysine supplementation may reduce the recurrences of herpes outbreaks. Though lower doses of lysine show little effect, high doses of up to 3,000 mg a day may be beneficial.
In one study of 45 patients with frequently recurring herpes outbreaks, lysine treatments of 321-1,200 mg per day appeared to reduce outbreak recurrences. As soon as lysine was discontinued, lesions recurred within 1-4 weeks for most patients.
The herpes simplex virus contains proteins with more arginine and less lysine than other proteins in the body. Herpes cells thrive on arginine to reproduce. Lysine antagonizes arginine and disrupts its function, which in turn may help to prevent and treat herpes infections.
Garlic contains potent antiviral properties, which makes it a popular natural supplement choice to combat viruses like herpes simplex. You can take garlic in capsule form or apply it as a topical ointment directly to your outbreak. Simply dilute with olive oil and apply to sores up to three times per day.
Probiotics are well known for their immune-boosting abilities. Now research also shows that certain probiotic strains can limit herpes infections as well. Probiotics improve immune function by balancing bacteria in the gut. The healthier your digestive system, the better it can prevent the viral activity that leads to herpes outbreaks.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are indispensable in your battle against inflammation. Load up on salmon, chia seeds, flaxseed, and mackerel to superpower your body’s response to inflammation and, in turn, limit or manage the effects of your next genital herpes outbreak.
The Best 3 Topical Uses of Vitamins and Supplements for Herpes Simplex Virus
Vitamins and supplements don’t need to be used in pill or liquid forms alone. They may also prove valuable in topical form.
Talk to your doctor to see if any of these three best topical uses of vitamins and supplements for herpes simplex virus could work for you:
- - Zinc treatment four times daily for four days
- - Vitamin E oil placed on sores for 15 minutes, up to three times daily for three days
- - Lemon balm extract applied four times daily for five days
Each of these topical treatments has been shown through studies and anecdotal evidence to reduce pain, decrease the frequency of outbreaks, and accelerate healing in patients with genital herpes sores.
The Power of Combining Vitamins, Supplements, and Light Therapy
You can already see the potential for the vitamins and supplements to inhibit herpes activity and help you limit the impact of herpes outbreaks on your quality of life.
Now imagine the possibilities when you combine the results of vitamins and supplements with light therapy. The skin metabolizes low-level light to accelerate healing and strengthen the body’s defenses against future attacks.
Luminance RED is a breakthrough herpes treatment that harnesses high-powered LED light technology — specifically, a 660 nanometer light wavelength — to shorten healing time and decrease the frequency of new outbreaks. Clinical research shows that patients who received low-level light therapy experienced a 49% reduction in time to heal compared to those who had no light treatment at all.
When the use of the best genital herpes vitamins and supplements has already strengthened your immune function and laid the groundwork for rapid recovery, Luminance RED has the ability to deliver maximum results.