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3 Vitamins and Minerals to Help Control Herpes Outbreaks

A brown bottle of yellow vitamins for herpes is poured out on a white countertop.

 

A herpes diagnosis can trigger a lot of emotions. You might be feeling scared, ashamed, or even confused. You never thought this would happen to you, and you’re not prepared.

When it comes to herpes, knowledge is power. The more you understand about the herpes simplex virus, the better you’ll be able to function in your new reality. 

Take comfort in the fact that there are many options for treating and controlling herpes outbreaks, including vitamins for herpes.

About the Herpes Simplex Virus

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Before we explore vitamins for herpes, let’s take a closer look at the herpes simplex virus, or HSV.

There are two types of HSV: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1, or oral herpes, is primarily passed from one person to another through oral contact and is most likely to cause sores around your lips or mouth. These lesions are also known as cold sores.

HSV-2 is a type of sexually transmitted infection, or STI, and is usually passed from person to person through sexual contact. Also known as genital herpes, HSV-2 is likely to cause sores on or around the genital area or rectum.

The first outbreak of the herpes virus is generally the worst you’ll experience. In addition to sores, flu-like symptoms are also possible during the first outbreak.

Infographic: # Vitamins and Minerals to Help Control Herpes Outbreaks

Vitamins for Herpes

It’s estimated that 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 have oral herpes, and 417 million people 15–49 years old have genital herpes. Despite how common herpes is, the stigma that accompanies the virus is more difficult for some sufferers to deal with than the actual symptoms of the virus itself.

It’s important for both your physical and mental health to find ways to manage your herpes outbreaks and control your symptoms. Adding certain foods to your diet can manage your herpes symptoms, but another way to accomplish this is by learning more about vitamins for herpes.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for immune health. Your immune system protects you from pathogens, like bacteria and viruses, including the herpes simplex virus.

Vitamin D deficiency is considered a global public health issue. About one billion people suffer from a long-term lack of this crucial vitamin.

To resist additional herpes outbreaks, your body needs to have enough vitamin D to support a healthy immune system. To make sure your body absorbs the vitamin D, take it immediately before or after eating a meal. Include some high fat foods in that meal for the best results.

Zinc

Like vitamin D, zinc is critically important for your immune system. If you suffer from a zinc deficiency, it will be more difficult for your body to combat the herpes simplex virus, and you could be at risk of serious immune dysfunction

Without enough zinc, you may suffer more severe herpes outbreaks, as well as shorter time periods between outbreaks. To get the most from a zinc supplement, take it about an hour before eating a meal, or wait to take it until about two hours after a meal.

Multivitamins

With optimal levels of vitamin D and zinc in your body, your immune system is likely in pretty good shape — but it could be better. Three more vitamins that support a healthy immune system are vitamins C, E, and B6, all of which can be found in optimal levels in most multivitamins.

It can be difficult to get the ideal amount of these vitamins through diet alone, so taking an additional supplement each day helps ensure your immune system has everything it needs to fight the herpes simplex virus and other pathogens you may come into contact with.

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Vitamin Deficiencies 

A severe lack of the vitamins your body needs to function could lead to significant impairment, especially when it comes immune function.

If you contract HSV, your immune system is one of your most important lines of defense against outbreaks. The healthier your immune system is, the fewer outbreaks you’re likely to experience.

Here are a few common symptoms of vitamin deficiency to look out for:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizzy spells
  • Weakness
  • Yellow tint to the skin or pale skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A tingly or numb feeling in your feet or hands 
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue

If you suspect you may be deficient in a key vitamin, talk to your doctor about vitamin deficiency tests. A simple blood test can tell you exactly what’s going on and which vitamins for herpes would be most beneficial for you.

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Vitamins for Herpes: Final Thoughts

It’s tough to learn you have the herpes simplex virus. As of now, there is no cure; there are only methods to manage outbreaks. Thankfully, vitamins for herpes are an easy, affordable way to boost your immune system and give your body its best chance of managing HSV. 

Ask your doctor about other lifestyle changes or prescription medications that may be able to help.

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