Several viruses have been proven to be stopped indirectly by the dietary essential amino acid, L-Lysine. This is because at least some viruses depend on the amino acid L-arginine to replicate, and L-Lysine has a chemical structure so similar to L-arginine that at least some viruses mistakenly incorporate L-Lysine instead of the L-Arginine they need. As a result, the virus lacks sufficient L-Arginine to replicate. It’s a competitive effect. Changing the diet to favor a high ratio of L-Lysine to L-Arginine directly affects the replication of these viruses.

This fact has been known for decades. Let me cite a couple of related examples, and then move on to the coronaviruses. In the 1970s my reports of the research of others that L-Lysine hampered Herpes Simplex 1 (cold sore, a member of theHerpesviridae family of viruses) replication resulted in my getting many invitations to speak to dental groups (1-3).

A few years later it was realized that L-Lysine also hampered the virus family member (Herpes zoster virus) that caused shingles. In patients having Chickenpox (varicella zoster, also a member of theHerpesviridaefamily), the virus often becomes dormant only to emerge as Shingles (Herpes Zoster) years later when immunity declines. Back then, there was no Shingles vaccine and no really effective medication for Shingles. The L-Lysine strategy was welcome news to many.

What if L-Lysine has the same effect in Coronaviruses? I am pleased to see that Bill Sardi recently published that Bio-Virus Research Inc., of Reno, Nevada, has successfully treated 30 frontline doctors and nurses and 1,000-plus patients with L-Lysine to prevent and even abolish COVID-19 coronavirus. This information is preliminary, but I want to share it with Vitamin Connection readers because it just may save some lives. It will be many years before formal studies can confirm or deny this no-risk dietary strategy, and a quick trial can provide an immediate answer for an infected person.

Let’s chat with Health Journalist Bill Sardi and see what this L-Lysine approach is all about. We have chatted with Bill several times in this column.


Passwater:Bill, before we look at the findings, is there any evidence that L-Lysine can slow Coronaviruses replication?

Sardi:Lysine was demonstrated to successfully inhibit coronavirus (MERS-coronavirus, a forerunner of COVID-19) replication in a test tube in 2016 (4). Traditionally, lysine has long been known as an effective treatment for herpes infections, being first demonstrated to resolve herpes cold sores on the lips (herpes labialis) in 1974 (5). This 2016-published study served as a scientific basis for researchers to move toward applied science in the current COVID-19 pandemic, given lysine supplements, as a natural dietary amino acid, have a long track record of safety. Hundreds of millions of herpes-infected individuals over the past few decades have successfully used lysine to quell herpes infections.

Passwater:So, the science has shown that this strategy could work?

Sardi:Applying lysine outside of its known anti-herpes virus activity for coronavirus infection is a big step. As you know because of the urgency to find effective agents against the newly mutated COVID-19 coronavirus for which there is been no approved drug or licensed vaccine, there is a worldwide effort to fast-track any remedies. Because this coronavirus has encircled the globe and has infected people in all walks of life, the need for a safe, effective, and economical medicine to quell COVID-19 infections is a worldwide pursuit of virologists.

The problem is virologists are narrowly focused on the vaccine model, which apparently is now failing (see below about new more vaccine-resistant coronavirus mutants). Given lysine meets these requirements, it is poised to move from theoretical to applied science, from lab bench to bedside, as they say.

Here now we have the first report of a lysine trial in humans against a coronavirus, albeit an observational study. It would be unethical to put lysine to the test compared to an inactive placebo. So, this may be the best science that can be produced under the circumstances.

Given its record of safety, clinicians in the Dominican Republic ventured to try it first among medical personnel and critically ill patients for whom no effective treatment was available.

Let me say, because of the urgency involved, modern medicine has begun to rely upon unpublished reports that are still undergoing peer review to expand trials and fast-track cures. It is in this environment of urgency that lysine was put into human use for COVID-19.

Passwater:Have these results been published yet?

Sardi: In this instance we are relying on an observational report of lysine use in the Dominican Republic. The reporter is Bo Karlicki, who is working in tandem with researchers at Bio-Virus Research, Inc., in Nevada, founded by Alex Chaihorsky. Karlicki delivers an online narrative video report and all four of Bio-Virus’ investigators have teamed up to write a non-peer reviewed report published at ResearchGate.netof observational experience with lysine and COVID-19 (6). I interviewed Dr. Chaihorsky personally.

The researchers have no financial interest in the use of L-lysine and all the viral research they conduct is self-financed. One of their members, Dr. Christopher Kagan, is the original researcher who first validated L-lysine in 1974 as a therapeutic nutrient for herpes infections, particularly herpes labialis (lips). So, the credentials of this group of lysine-advocates are not weak.

I have been informed that several thousand cases of COVID-19 have now been successfully treated in the Dominican Republic and additionally in Pakistan.

Chaihorsky claims medical officials in Hungary have decided to officially test lysine in cooperation with Bio-Virus’ investigators.

Members of the medical staff there in a district of the Dominican Republic were falling to infection, about two per month. The medical staff of 30 began prophylactically taking lysine and none have fallen ill since.

Passwater:Who are the researchers and what is their experience with viruses?

Sardi:A quartet of Reno, Nevada-based researchers operating as Bio-Virus Research, Inc. The three researchers are Alex Chaihorsky, Founder and President, and Director of SYNDAC Vaccines; Christopher Kagan, M.D., Director of Therapeutics; Bo Karlicki (in the Dominican Republic), researcher; and Rony Tal, immunologist. Chaihorsky has a number of vaccine patents.

Passwater:Just what have the researchers found so far?

Sardi: Reportedly lysine has been successfully used in the Dominican Republic, initially in an uncontrolled fashion. The medical community began to use it themselves with rapid resolution of symptoms.

I know we want proven science, but the double-blind placebo-controlled gold standard study is simply not practical at this point. We must recall that penicillin, aspirin, insulin all came into common use without controlled studies because they obviously worked. We don’t see a placebo effect when ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen are used for coronavirus infections. L-Lysine has produced observable, demonstrative and timely resolution of symptoms without significant side effects.

A question arises. Vaccines don’t address the lysine/arginine balance. COVID-19 patients are being tested positive after vaccination. In the COVID-19 arena we observe antibodies producing short-term benefits. They are not long-lasting. It is zinc-dependent T-memory cells that facilitate long-term immunity (thymus gland). Regardless of what else is going on, the lysine/arginine balance is in play.

I must emphasize, the confirmation of COVID-19 infection is soiled by the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is unreliable as most tests have been conducted using 35 doublings or more. This is what is being relied upon for confirmation of diagnosis.

With all that said, about 50% of the first round of patients who underwent L-lysine treatment were COVID-19 positive by PCR test. Most COVID-19 cases are suspected or confirmed by symptomology, primarily chronic cough, breathlessness, loss of smell and taste, fever, and sometimes diarrhea or vomiting.

Dr. Chaihorsky educates: virologists are only using a small snippet of a viral genome which is akin to reading 10 pages of a 1,000-page book and telling everyone what the book is about. This is what the PCR test is. The entire COVID-19 genome is not used because it is too expensive; only markers are used. The PCR test is flawed, but when the entire genome is isolated, then we can “see” the virus.

This newly mutated coronavirus may not always answer to the vaccine nor to the antibodies. This means L-lysine may be essential in the fight against coronaviruses.

You will read herein that the experience with L-lysine in the Dominican Republic uncovered coffee consumption as a factor that worsens outcomes.

Dr. Chaihorsky explains that coffee elevates arginase levels in the blood that takes arginine from body stores and throws it into the blood (7).

Now then, L-arginine, which is required for replication of the virus, is elevated, Dr. Chaihorsky teaches. This is why the researchers advise against coffee drinking during COVID-19 infection.

Whatever cure is found, it must be reliable, cheap, safe. That is L-lysine. You cannot do it with drugs or other pharmaceuticals. People can die due to blind adherence to patentable pharmaceuticals.

We now read of mutations of COVID-19 that have much greater transmissibility and fatality rates. Vaccine-produced antibodies against these new mutants are ineffective and prior coronavirus infections confer no protection either. Just as we learn of lysine’s universal application against coronaviruses, the world is on the cusp of an infectious disease outbreak of untold proportion. One virologist warns: “The devil is already here.”

Says Dr. Chaihorsky: “Lysine is no respecter of viral strain. It works regardless of viral strain. It is a universal viral destroyer…We are excluding everything from the world of natural molecules because there is no money in it. We are killing ourselves by our patent laws.”

Passwater: Have other researchers made similar observations?

Sardi: A group of physicians in New York have gone on record to advocate arginine depletion as a therapeutic approach to COVID-19 coronavirus infection, though they advocate use of an arginine-depleting enzyme rather than supplemental lysine (8).

Outside of a few lone individual practitioners who may prescribe lysine, and the investigators who are marshalling a trial in the Dominican Republic, there are no other clinicians or researchers that I know of who are utilizing or reporting on lysine. I have just now started recommending friends and relatives stricken with COVID-like symptoms try L-lysine to determine if they experience resolution of symptoms. I’m awaiting feedback.

I personally use L-lysine to prevent eruption of a cold sore (herpes labialis) and it works without fail. If I eat L-arginine-rich foods (chocolate, nuts) I experience an eruption. The herpes virus comes out of dormancy as it is hidden from the immune system in nerve sheaths. If I consume these L-arginine-rich foods and take L-lysine pills, it prevents or reverses an eruption. It has worked without fail.

One district health department in the Dominican Republic is reported to be using L-lysine almost without fail. Bo Karlicki, on the ground in the Dominican Republic, is our source for much of this information.

What the early data shows (small study) is that among 40 subjects where data was collected and 100+ subjects without data but with symptoms, 8 in 10 with acute-stage COVID-19 experienced a 70% reduction in symptoms in the first 48 hours. Only a small percentage of patients had fever past 24 hours of L-lysine supplementation.

Treatment varied from 2.0 days to 3.5 weeks. The fact that some cases resolved so quickly is notable.

Hospitalized patients were reportedly discharged 3 days after initiating L-lysine therapy! Subjects who fasted during treatment due to lack of appetite (another symptom of B1 deficiency) recovered faster, presumably because they were not consuming L-arginine-rich foods.

Coffee consumption was the most common factor among long-term COVID-19 (treatment resistant) sufferers.

One subject died of a secondary bacterial infection (these typically are co-infected TB patients) and another hospitalized subject with a secondary bacterial infection was discharged six days later.

There is concern expressed by the researchers that long-term high-dose L-lysine therapy (3000 mg/day) could break-up existing blood clots and form an embolus in the brain or lungs.

Recall Matthias Rath and Linus Pauling’s finding that lysine + vitamin C prevents Lipoprotein(a), a cholesterol-like particle, from forming within coronary arteries via its ability to take the place of Lp(a). Lp(a) is a “sticky bandage” within coronary arteries that may induce blood clots when vitamin C/lysine blood levels are low (9).

There is theoretical concern that L-lysine raises calcium blood levels, but that should be dispelled because the calcium would presumably be in the process of being expelled, not building up internal calcifications.

There is also concern over L-lysine’s ability to reduce nitric oxide production, a transient gas that induces dilation (widening) of blood vessels and acts as an oxidant. While excessive nitric oxide may be of concern as it is an oxidant (cleanser), NO also sends a signal to activate internal enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, SOD, catalase) via a gene transcription factor Nrf2. Nitric oxide gas is protective as well as potentially destructive.

L-Lysine is in constant balance with L-arginine. Arginine activates NO, which is the molecular mechanism behind drugs that counter erectile dysfunction (dilation of blood vessels in the male organ facilitates engorgement with blood and a hard erection). Viagra relies upon L-arginine.

Passwater: Has their study shed any light on why so many COVID patients have recurrent infectionsthe so-called “long haul” patients?

Sardi: My answer is that the recurrent infections associated with COVID-19, or so-called long-haul symptoms that arise again and again, despite antibodies against COVID-19 being produced, suggests this may not be an infection but rather a pseudo-infection induced by a shortage of vitamin B1 that mimics infectious disease (flu-like symptoms).

Vitamin B1 controls the autonomic nervous system. These symptoms are explained by the fact the hypothalamus of the brain controls the immune system. Without vitamin B1 the hypothalamus goes haywire and symptoms of fever, diarrhea, vomiting, breathlessness may occur without a viral infection. But since we can’t distinguish a real viral infection from a pseudo-COVID-19 infection for prophylaxis or treatment, maybe we need to take vitamin B1 and lysine (10-12).

In the COVID-19 pandemic, human populations are reaching for the wrong medicines to calm their fears and anxieties. Alcohol, sugar, coffee and tea all interfere with vitamin B1 absorption or utilization. In the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption is up 500%. Alcohol is known to induce shortages of B1, zinc and magnesium.

Passwater:Is changing the balance of L-Lysine to L-Arginine safe?

Sardi: Lysine/virus treatment has been ongoing since the 1970s and there are decades of safe use reported. Again, that was when Drs. Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath advocated its use for coronary artery health (9). L-lysine supplementation has been shown in the animal lab to suppress arterial calcification (13).

Passwater: What other benefits could come from increasing the ratio of L-lysine to L-arginine?

Sardi:So far, I have addressed the anti-viral properties of lysine, the historically cited application of L-lysine to inhibit coronary artery blockages, and we know that lysine aids wound healing. Anecdotally, patients in the Dominican Republic reported renewed hair growth.

We must recognize L-lysine is no small player in world health. Over a lifetime about 80% of humans are infected with herpes family viruses. While modern medicine prefers to use less effective and more problematic anti-viral drugs, these drugs are simply not practical nor affordable on a global basis.

There is no side-stepping what is going on, that L-lysine is bumping head-on with the pharmaceutical/vaccine approach to infectious disease. Public health authorities are not expected to embrace lysine therapy.

What we have experienced recently is that the public has opted on its own to adopt natural medicines. Widely-reported anti-viral properties of zinc resulted in a worldwide shortage of zinc lozenges almost overnight. I anticipate the same for L-lysine.

Millions of tons of L-lysine are produced for animal feed. L-lysine is widely available and can be acquired from retail outlets for as little as $5/bottle.

The diet can also be modified to limit L-arginine-rich foods (chocolate, nuts) and increase lysine-rich foods (cheese). The very poorest people on the planet can use dietary and supplemental L-lysine both prophylactically and therapeutically.

We can’t stop from being infected by coronaviruses, but if they can’t replicate, the immune system will then eradicate them and low viral counts will simply halt transmission to others.

Passwater:Bill, thanks for sharing this information with us. Readers can find more information about this subject on your website,



Passwater, R.A. L-Lysine Stops Herpes and Other Viruses. Nutritional Perspectives 2(4) 25-31 (Oct 1979)
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