Second Nature Health

Cold Sore Cure?
Why Calcium and Vitamin F are Essential for
Natural Prevention and Treatment for Herpes

© 2014 Health Realizations, Inc. Update

Herpes … everyone's heard about it but no one wants to talk about it. Widely shunned as a taboo topic, this painful virus is actually much more common than the average American citizen would like to admit, making it more important than ever for people to learn the correct facts about its wide range of symptoms, causes and cures.

Millions of people suffer from cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Often, this virus is picked up during childhood (via food sharing, etc.) and lies dormant until you're stressed or sick.

Though there are many prescription treatments on the market, many of them contain chemicals and compounds that might not be the healthiest and most sustainable options. Fortunately, new studies suggest that natural calcium supplements can reduce and prevent the outbreaks from happening, but in order to understand how they work and why they work, a better understanding of the herpes virus is needed.

What is Herpes?

There are several different types of herpes viruses and some are more severe than others. With cold sores, the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) (otherwise known as herpes labialis or orolabial herpes) is the virus responsible for the infection.

This particular virus can cause outbreaks that create small blisters or sores on or around your mouth (these are commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters). These sores usually heal within 2–3 weeks, but the herpes virus still sticks around the facial nerve area in a dormant form. This is why herpes is a difficult virus to treat, because it never really goes away, and can flare up at any time -- often when infected individuals are under stress, are sick or are in poor health.

Many people incorrectly believe that oral herpes is strictly transmitted sexually and is the same as genital herpes -- but in reality many people get oral herpes during childhood via food sharing, utensil sharing or non-sexual bodily contact. Oral herpes is also a different strain from genital herpes (which is the HSV-2 strain), and both forms affect the body differently.

An article titled "The Facts About Cold Sores," by Stuart Maddin, MD, on Canada's Herpes Guide website, elaborates on these common misconceptions when it states:

  • "Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of this virus and cold sores are usually caused by type 1 (known as HSV-1). The other type of herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, usually causes genital herpes

  • In general, we are infected with HSV-1 when we are children; in the majority of these initial ("primary") infections, there are no symptoms

  • Usually, the virus infects our mouths. Some children experience mouth and gum symptoms ("gingivostomatitis") or a sore throat ("pharyngitis")."

The article continues:

  • "30%-60% of children below 10 years of age are infected with HSV-1. They have acquired the virus from family and friends through sharing utensils or toothbrushes, and from kissing

  • The virus is transmitted from cold sores and also when there are no symptoms, as it can make copies of itself on the skin in the absence of a blister. This phenomenon is called "asymptomatic shedding"

  • By 50 years of age, 80%-90% of us harbour HSV-1 because we have caught it from someone close to us"

With so many individuals affected by herpes in addition to the many ways that people can contract the virus, you would think there would more accessible methods for people to discuss and treat their symptoms. Unfortunately due to the inaccurate misconceptions floating around, the general sufferer still keeps quiet about their problems, oftentimes even experiencing feelings of guilt and shame.

With the topic not discussed frequently, there are millions of people who live in fear of the next outbreak, when, in reality they may not realize that they are actually doing several things that can increase the chance of an outbreak.

What Are Some Causes of a Herpes Outbreak?

Some common causes of an oral herpes outbreak are:

  • A weak immune system

  • Stress

  • Lack of sleep

  • Exhaustion

  • Illness

  • Menstruation

In addition, there is another catalyst that many are not aware of, and that's an excess of vitamin D.

But Most Doctors Recommend that We Get More Vitamin D, Don't They?

It's true, a common concern among society these days is the amount of sunlight we get, considering that the sun is one of best and only sources of the essential vitamin D. However, because most of us don't live in places that are sunny all year long, there are many vitamin D drops, pills and supplements advertised and recommended by doctors as substitutes for our daily sun quotient.

But for people affected with the herpes simplex virus, too much sun or vitamin D can actually increase the chance of cold sore outbreaks, and in many cases, make the outbreaks worse than normal.

Does That Mean That You Should Stop Taking Vitamin D if You Suffer from Herpes?

No, vitamin D is good for you, especially if you suffer from seasonal mood disorders like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or you live in areas that receive little sunlight during specific times of the year. Most people are, in fact, deficient in vitamin D. However, it's important for you to ensure that other vitamins in your body are in balanced coordination with your vitamin D levels.

How Does Vitamin D Affect People Suffering from Herpes?

Though vitamin D is good for us, it definitely needs to be regulated in individuals suffering from herpes. Essentially, when an individual has too much vitamin D in their body it starts to affect the amount of calcium that's in their skin.

Vitamin D is so important because it aids in transferring the calcium you ingest into your bloodstream. Then, vitamin F (otherwise known as polyunsaturated fatty acids) aids in getting the calcium from your bloodstream into your tissues. However, when you have too much vitamin D and too little vitamin F, your body begins to pull calcium from all parts of your body, including your stomach AND tissues, resulting in adequate amounts of calcium in the bloodstream, but not enough in the tissue.

In effect, when tissues are lacking calcium, they become sensitive and susceptible to everything from welts, hives, cancer sores, shingles and, yes, outbreaks of cold sores.

So What Should You Do if You Get a Lot of Sun or if You Take Vitamin D Supplements?

As always, you should check with your health care professional before taking any supplements, natural or not. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you need them, or are taking too much of them. If they in fact do recommend that you take vitamin D supplements, then you should ask them about also taking a vitamin F or calcium supplement as well, because an imbalance of these vitamins may increase your chances of another herpes breakout.

Where Can You Find Sources of Vitamin F and Calcium -- and How Much Should You Take?

Broccoli is an excellent food source of calcium; when tissues are lacking calcium, they become sensitive and susceptible to outbreaks of cold sores.

As mentioned before, any supplements that you take should always be monitored by a medical health professional. Once advised though, you can get calcium from many food sources including:

  • Spinach

  • Broccoli

  • Strawberries

  • Tofu

  • White beans

  • Almonds

Another great option that already has pre-balanced levels of calcium and vitamin F pre-made from all-natural and organic sources are special prescription only lines of supplements including:

  • Calcium Lactate, which supports the absorption of calcium and magnesium and provides additional support for the immune system. Ideal calcium ingredients include: Calcium lactate in a 5:1 ratio with magnesium citrate.

  • Food Sourced Vitamin C Complex which supports and promotes normal immune response plus skin and connective tissue, and bone health. Ideal vitamin C Complex ingredients also provides antioxidants and support the adrenal glands including dried buckwheat (leaf) juice, buckwheat (seed), and dried alfalfa (whole plant) juice.

  • Vitamin F, which supports the body's natural response to inflammation: Ideal vitamin F with flaxseed providing a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Combined, these three products use all-natural, plant-based ingredients to increase your calcium and vitamin F levels, thereby driving calcium back into your tissues – an important function if you want your skin surface to stay healthy and immune to those painful cold sore outbreaks.

A study titled "Trends in Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2 Seroprevalence in the United States," by Fujie Xu, MD et al, reported that:

"HSV-1 affected 57.7% of Americans tested in a 1999-2004."

Those stunning statistics highlight the fact that millions of people potentially suffer from embarrassing and painful cold sore outbreaks, which can be treated but not altogether eliminated.

Though a strong immune system is a good start for preventing outbreaks, so is monitoring your balance of vitamin D and correlating vitamin F and calcium levels.

While topical treatments can provide temporary relief, relying on them for life is probably not the best option for those seeking a healthier way. If natural vitamins can provide the solution without chemicals, then it may be a safer option for those looking for alternative treatments. After all, prevention is always the best medicine, isn't it?


Sources

JAMA;296(8):964-973

Stuart Maddin, MD, FRCPC: The Facts About Cold Sores:

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