Shingles: Lysine-rich foods such as cheese, fish and eggs and seaweed shown to help

Loose Women: Eamonn Holmes discusses his issues with shingles

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Shingles is a disease caused by the reactivation of the Varicella Zoster virus that remains dormant in the body after the recovery of chickenpox. The sleeping virus is suddenly awakened by a jolt of stress or other triggering factor, usually when the immune system is depressed.

One of the most potent shingles busters can be found in foods brimming with lysine, an amino acid that puts the skids on the cellular growth of the zoster virus, said La Jolla Light.

Lysine is an essential amino acid, meaning it is necessary for human health, but the body cannot make it.

Amino acids like lysine are the building blocks of protein. Lysine is important for proper growth, and it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping lower cholesterol.

According to Mount Sinai, foods rich in lysine include:

  • Meat, specifically red meat, pork, and poultry
  • Cheese, particularly parmesan
  • Certain fish, such as cod and sardines
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans, particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour
  • Spirulina
  • Fenugreek seed.


“Eating seaweed may boost the efficacy of vaccinations and help treat cold sores, herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and shingles,” said

A study published in 2002 investigated people suffering from various herpes infections and were given about two grams a day of pure powdered wakame, which is equivalent to about a quarter cup of seaweed.

“All fifteen patients with active Herpetic viral infections”—including herpes virus 1, the cause of oral herpes, which causes cold sores; herpes virus 2, which causes genital herpes; herpes virus 3, which causes shingles and chicken pox; and herpes virus 4, also known as Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mono— “experienced significant lessening or disappearance of symptoms,” concluded the study.

One study undertaken in 2009 in New Zealand, confirmed the strong link between red marine algae or seaweed and virus inactivation.

Various extracts of different types of algae were tested. Among those tested against HSV-1 and HSV-2 was that of Gigartina atropurpurea, a type of red marine algae.

The algae extracts demonstrated activity during the first hour of viral infection.

However, the algae extracts were ineffective if added later.

Nonetheless, after various assays, it was determined that at low concentrations the extracts were active and had potent virucidal activity.

Causes of shingles may also include:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • A weakened immune system
  • Cancer
  • Radiation treatments
  • Injury of the skin where the rash occurs

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