Ask Dr. D'Adamo

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Questions About Specific Health Issues

Type A With Gential Herpes


I'm A+ with a rather severe case of herpes (genital). I get outbreaks about twice a month. Your book was recommended by my N.D. to help boost my immune system in general. However, I've noticed that many of the foods that supposedly aggravate the herpes virus are on the beneficial list for type A's--nuts, corn, and other food containing arginine. Should I modify your recommended diet for type A's and avoid these foods, too? Or should I try following the recommended diet for type A's and hope that in doing so it will strengthen my immune system and help keep the herpes at bay? My concern is if I eliminate nuts and seeds it could be difficult for me to get enough protein. I would prefer to remain anonymous. Thank you.


Many of the so-called "herpes aggravating"

(i. e arginine containing) foods seem to me like the least thing I would want to avoid if I had the condition. Whereas I do agree that increasing the amino acid lysine in the diet can benefit herpes sufferers, the rationale of avoiding arginine (as it supposedly competes with lysine) is less convincing. Arginine is intimately involved with the effectivenss of the body's anti-viral T helper cells, through its role in mediating nitrous oxide, a particularly valuable component of the immune system known to be defficient in herpes and other chronic viral conditions. So, I'd not worry too much about the arginine in the A diet, but I would endeavor to increase the levels of lysine.

What else can be done?

Licorice phytogel. I principally use a licorice gel as a topical antiviral agent when the lesions are active. One company that markets this is Madison Botanicals in Seattle WA, but your ND probably has some on the shelf in their office. Applying this gel 5-6 times daily when the infection is active has been shown to inactivate the RNA (genetic material) of the herpes virus. Since the virus must travel from the nerve endings inside the body to the skin to reproduce, inactivating the virus at the skin means that with continued use over several active occurences, the level of virus in the nerve endings drop and eventually go beneath the threshold necessary to trigger an attack.

Increase cAMP. Cyclic AMP is a nucleotide with anti-herpetic activity. The Ayurvedic herb Coleus forskolin has been shown to increase cAMP. So health food store carry it.

The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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