Sores of Corners of Mouth.
Dr.Gott, in the Star Free Press on February 7,1986, answered a question of a ten year old about getting rid of fever blisters by saying, “I’m sorry to tell you that there is no cure for fever blisters or cold sores.” I know you have written about fruit being involved and others are using lysine in treatment. I assume you think Dr.Gott is incorrect. Would you tell us your views, as manypeople frequently suffer from cold sores. L.H.
Dear L.He.: one of my first articles was about cold sores and their successful treatment. Most physicians are not aware of the research that governed the treatment plan I followed but there is a new approach that has received a fair amount of publicity. Dr.Gott has evidently not heard about it.
During 47 years of dental practice, I treated several thousand of these oral mouth ulceration,. In that time, I rarely saw a patient with this affliction who wasn’t drinking fruit juice or eating fruit usually in large quantities. A few could be traced to the use of chocolate or nuts, but most seemed related to citric acid fruits and a lessor number to malic, benzoic and oxolic acid foods. Way back in 1940, Harold F. Hawkins, D.D.S., reported in his book, “applied Nutrition,” that many individuals would not completely digest the organic acid of some or all of these fruits, and if not, they could develop the symptoms of skin rash, edema, and apthae stomatitis, (one form of cold sores) because of the acidosis that resulted. He also stated that this digestive inability was quite common in individuals with very low amounts of stomach hydrochloric acid enzyme and in those who had a low thyroid activity.
Some more recent research on an entirely different track has shown that diets high in arginine foods and low in lysine were directly related to the herptic virus involved with oral cold sores, genital herpes and shingles. Foods high in arginine are all kinds of nuts, peanut butter, cocoa powder, chocolate, sesame seeds,jello and buckwheat flour. foods high in lysine that can counteract the detrimental effects of the arginine are fish, chicken, beef, goat and cow’s milk, lamb, mung beans, pork, cheese, beans, brewers yeast, crustaceans and eggs.
The story of this discovery is a most interesting one. Dr.Chris Kagan, working in the viral lab at the cedars of lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, noticed that the amino acid L-arginine was always added to the solution used to grow tissue cells being infected with the herpes virus, but it was not added to the solution when they were only growing tissue cells. Then the University of Richmond’s Dr. r.W. Tankersley, showed that L-arginine was the most active way to stimulate thee rate of growth of viruses and he also found that adding L-lysine to the growth media, stopped the virus formation. These results led Dr. Kagan to wonder if lysine wouldn’t help control herpes in people It is now known that the perpes virus requires L-arginine as an essential amino acid. It is not essential to humans, but L-lysine is essential.
Before such research ides become known and adopted, a number of unrelated incidents usually take place. In this case, Dr.Richard s.Griffith,Professor of Medicine at the Indiana School of Medicine, while listening to a lecture by Dr.Kagan, remarked that he had noticed that cases of herpes became more sever and increased in number after Easter and Christmas. He immediately saw the connection between these holidays and the increased use of chcolate, which contains 4 percent L-arginine. This resulted in Kagan,Griffith and Dr. Arthur Norins, publishing a research paper on the subject reporting in “dermatologia” on the healing effects of lysine on 45 patients with oral, facial and genital herpes.
During the next seven to eight years, there was slow acceptance to the hypothesis, but the real breakthrough came when Dr. Cory Servaas wrote in the July/August 1982 “Saturday Evening Post,” a leading story about the use of L-lysine and its ability to stop herpes. Since then, the word has spread like wildfire. Incidentally, the “Saturday Evening Post” has become a great information source for many new and improved nutritional approaches to health care.
Sores at Corners of Mouth: I frequently have sores and cracks in my lips at the corners of my mouth. I have heard this is a vitamin deficiency. Which one is it? E.H. Dear E.H.: This is a rather common nutritional deficiency technically called cheilosis or angular stomatitis. The lips are dry and scaling but appear to be moist because of saliva accumulating at the angles of the mouth.
This breakdown of the tissues of the lips is caused by deficiency of the vitamin riboflavin(B2). Vitamin B2 is lost in the refining of grain, exposure of food to sunlight, and some of it is lost by heating food and when it is in alkaline solutions. Sodium bicarbonate used in baking is also detrimental. Good food sources include: organ meats such as liver, kidney and heart, poultry, fish green leafed vegetables, nuts, fruit, legumes, dairy products, eggs and whole grains.
When the corners of the mouth are cracked it is common to see that skin and eyes are also often involved with deficiencies of B2. A good diet including the foods just mentioned plus a supplement of B-complex is recommended since all of the B vitamins have interlocking functions. Individuals wearing artificial dentures often have continual shrinkage of their gums. This gradually causes and overclosure of the jaws allowing saliva to collect at the corners of the mouth. Many then develop similar cracks in their lips. This is not a vitamin B2 deficiency but of course both things could exit at the same time.
Copyright (c) 2007 Sung Lee, and George Meinig D.D.S