5 Best Supplements for Cold Sores

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If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from cold sores, you know how painful and embarrassing they can be. There are a number of supplements that have been shown to help reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold sore outbreak. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 of the most effective supplements for cold sores.

Keep in mind supplements are lightly regulated by the FDA. Their stated claims have no guarantee. They aren’t cures or treatments for any diseases.

Please check with your doctor before starting any supplement program and know that we include items that we trust will be useful to our visitors. If you click one of the links on our site, we may get a commission.

The supplements listed above are for treating cold sores (also known as oral herpes virus) and preventing cold sores but they are not for genital herpes.

If you have questions see the FAQ section below – now let’s dive in!

How L-Lysine Works In Supplements to Reduce Cold Sores

L-lysine is an effective supplement for reducing cold sores and is available in many forms, such as tablets and powders. Daily supplementing with L-lysine helps to reduce the frequency of outbreaks and promote faster healing.

Studies have demonstrated that L-lysine works by blocking arginine, which is an essential amino acid required for viral replication.

Without this vital nutritional component, the virus cannot spread or reach its full potential on the skin, ultimately leading to fewer and less severe outbreaks.

When taken daily, this supplement can be a very useful tool in managing cold sores more effectively and improving overall comfort.

Best Supplements for Cold Sores

  1. Best Overall, Award Winning, and Highest Potency of L-Lysine by Quantum Health
  2. Best Blend with Zinc to Reduce Cold Sores by Garden of Life
  3. Best For Pure L-Lysine by Now Food
  4. Runner-Up for Best Pure L-Lysine Supplement – Nature Made

1. Best Overall, Award Winning, and Highest Potency of L-Lysine by Quantum Health

  • Price = $16.44
  • # of Servings = 60
  • Price per Serving = $0.27
  • Product Reviews = 4.6/5 (12,742 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 3 Tablets
  • Taste / absorption = Unflavored
  • Labeled Effect = Lip health
  • Food Allergens = Safe for all
  • Pros = Amazon’s Choice for “super lysine”, high quality blend, more L-Lysine than other top supplements
  • Cons = None

About Quantum Health Super Lysine+ Advanced

Introducing SuperLysine+ Advanced, the premier supplement for advanced immune support and lip health. This award-winning formula contains a carefully curated blend of L-Lysine, Vitamin C, deodorized garlic, Echinacea, propolis, and licorice root to promote optimal health while providing antioxidant benefits.

Get all the benefits of L-Lysine, such as promoting collagen growth and supporting lip health while protecting your immune system with Super Lysine+ Advanced.

Super Lysine+ Advanced has earned numerous industry awards including:

  • Taste for Life Immunity Essentials Specialty Award (2015)
  • Taste for Life Supplement Essentials Award (2013)
  • Better Nutrition Best of Supplements Award (2020)

With 1,500 mg of L-Lysine from a well-known brand at a competitive price with other great vitamins and minerals, this is our top choice! Get the protection you need from SuperLysine+ Advanced today!

Made By Quantum Health:

Founded in 1981 as a family owned company in Oregon. Emphasizes effectiveness. According to ReviewMeta.com, Quantum Health gets a 4.0/5 average adjusted rating from 5,380 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1981
  • Revenue = $265 million
  • Employees = 1,200
  • Mission = To provide high-quality, science-based products that improve the quality of life for the natural shopper in health, drug, and food stores.
  • Third Party Certifications = Natural Products Association 
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.0/5 average adjusted rating from 5,380 verified reviews

2. Best Blend with Zinc to Reduce Cold Sores by Garden of Life

  • Price = $12.92
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving =0.43
  • Product Reviews = 4.8/5 (26,233 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 2 capsules
  • Taste / Absorption = Unflavored
  • Labeled Effect = For immune system support, skin health and eye health, as well as prostate health
  • Food Allergens = None, very safe
  • Pros = Amazon’s Choice for “Raw Zinc”, extremely high ratings, contains Vitamin C, zinc and a blend of herbs
  • Cons =

About Garden of Life’s Raw Zinc

Made with raw organic fruits, vegetables, and probiotics, this supplement contains 30mg of elemental zinc and 60mg of raw vitamin C.

With additional trace minerals and probiotics, this formula offers additional antioxidants, vitamins, and cofactors to support immune health.

Also recognized with Amazon’s Choice for “raw Zinc” supplements.

Made By Garden Life

Garden of Life is a wellness company that sells vitamins, probiotics, and herbal therapies. Garden of Life has been in business for 22 years. They have an attractive mission statement, a B-Corporation Certification, and a proven track record. According to ReviewMeta, Garden of Life has an average adjusted score of 4.1/5 from 28,011 reviews.

  • Start = 22 years old, founded in 2000
  • Revenue = $222 million
  • Employees = 300
  • Third Party Certifications = B-Corporation and 14 other certifications ranging from USDA organic, Gluten Free, Carbon Neutral, Cruelty Free, and many more.
  • Mission = Empower Extraordinary Health through belief that overall health is rooted in healthy digestion
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.1/5 average rating from 28,011 reviews

3. Best For Pure L-Lysine by Now Food

  • Price = $12.85
  • # of Servings = 100
  • Price per Serving = $0.12
  • Product Reviews = 4.6/5 (28,684 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 1 Tablet
  • Taste / absorption = Unflavored
  • Labeled Effect = For herpes and cold sores
  • Food Allergens = Safe
  • Pros = Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in L-Lysine Nutritional Supplements
  • Cons = No other vitamins, minerals or ingredients

About Now Food’s Double Strength L-Lysine

L-Lysine is the #1 ingredient to support reduction of cold sores and herpes, and this is Amazon’s #1 best selling L-Lysine supplement!

Introducing Now’s L-Lysine, a double strength vegan tablet that is essential for healthy living. This product provides an essential amino acid that must be obtained through diet or supplementation to support healthier bodies and wellbeing.

L-Lysine supports collagen synthesis, which is necessary for the production of all proteins in the body, and required for the maintenance of the structural proteins collagen and elastin. It also helps maintain proper calcium absorption and nitrogen balance in your body. 

This product is certified Soy free, Non-GMO, Vegan/Vegetarian friendly, nut free, and made without Gluten or Dairy/Eggs – making it suitable and safe for everyone!

Made by Now Foods:

Family owned since 1968. One of the most popular supplement brands, with many more third party reviews. According to ReviewMeta.com, Now Foods has an average adjusted rating of 4.2/5 from 175,757 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1968
  • Revenue = $650 million
  • Employees = 1600
  • Mission = Provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives
  • Third Party Certifications = USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten Free, GMP
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 from 175,757 verified reviews

4. Runner-Up for Best Pure L-Lysine Supplement – Nature Made

  • Price = $11.69
  • # of Servings = 60
  • Price per Serving = $0.19
  • Product Reviews = 4.7/5 (6,885 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 1 Tablet
  • Taste / absorption = Unflavored
  • Labeled Effect = Support protein synthesis
  • Food Allergens = Safe for all
  • Pros = Amazon’s Choice for “lysine”
  • Cons = No other vitamins, minerals or herbs

About Nature Made L-Lysine

These L Lysine supplement by Nature Made provide 1000 mg of Lysine, in just one easy to swallow daily tablet! It’s simple to add this essential amino acid to your daily routine as it has no color added, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, and is gluten free.

As a highly popular and pharmacist recommended vitamin & supplement brand, Nature Made L-Lysine gives you the trusted quality you’ve come to expect from them. Take one tablet daily with water and a meal to support protein synthesis, and for reducing cold sores.

Made by Nature Made:

Nature Made’s sole mission is to enhance the pursuit of a vibrant life. Backed by science and a commitment to quality, founded in 1971. According to ReviewMeta.com, Nature Made has a 4.3/5 average adjusted rating with 25,400 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1971
  • Revenue = $5 million
  • Employees = 25
  • Mission = Enhance the pursuit of a vibrant life
  • Third Party Certifications = USP
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.3 average adjusted rating with 25,400 verified reviews

5. Best for Exhaustion by Nature’s Bounty

  • Price = $7.45
  • # of Servings = 150
  • Price per Serving = $0.05
  • Product Reviews = 4.7/5 (37,936 reviews)
  • Serving Size = 1 Tablet
  • Taste / Absorption = Unflavored tablet
  • Labeled Effect = Helps the body convert food into the fuel which is used to maintain energy
  • Food Allergens = None
  • Pros = #1 Amazon bestseller in category “Vitamin B Complex Supplements”, contains Vitamin C and folic acid, competitive price
  • Cons = doesn’t contain all 8 B vitamins (missing B9)

About Super B Complex with Vitamin C

This supplement includes 7 out of 8 B vitamins, including thiamine and riboflavin, which are required for energy metabolism as well as immunity and antioxidant support.

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in this product may help with energy production, as well as the health of pregnant women.

Super B Complex with Vitamin C, made by Nature’s Bounty, contains over 100% the daily recommended amount of folic acid. Folic acid is important because many women are deficient in folic acid.

If you are deficient in either B-vitamins or folic acid then it’s more likely you’ll feel tired and exhausted.

Finally, Nature’s Bounty is a 50 year old company committed to safety and purity in all their supplements, so you can be sure you’re getting a high quality product possible.

With a competitive price and overall quality, this is a great choice for people feeling fatigue (and especially if you’re pregnant and feeling fatigued).

Made By Nature’s Bounty (owned by The Bountiful Company)

Nature’s Bounty is the flagship brand of The Bountiful Company, a family of wellness brands committed to providing people with high quality products to complement their lifestyles and physical health. According to ReviewMeta.com, Nature’s Bounty gets a 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 25,432 verified reviews.

  • Start = 1971
  • Revenue = $2 billion
  • Employees = 4,150
  • Mission = focused on enhancing the health and wellness of people’s lives
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP, USP, SRT
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 25,432 verified reviews

What factors do we use to rank supplements?

1 – Price: What’s the price of the supplement? What’s the cost per serving? At Eating Enlightenment we value quality over price. However, all else being equal, then price comes into consideration. 

2 – Reviews: How many reviews for each product? What’s the average rating? How many third party reviews? We strongly believe in third party reviews. Many supplement companies list positive reviews on their website, but third party reviews include negative comments. We always go with third party reviews.

3 – Reputation: How reputable is the brand behind the supplement? How long has the brand been around? What’s their mission? We believe that a company’s intention is highly important and should be one of your top purchasing decision factors.

4 – Taste / Absorption = What’s the taste? How quickly does your body absorb the supplement? Do reviews mention any negative side effects like an upset stomach?

5 – Perceived Therapeutic Effect = What beneficial effects or feelings does this supplement promote?

6 – Food Allergens = Does the company provide allergen info?

7 – Science / Certifications: Does the company list transparent scientific studies on their website? Do third party certifications test the company’s supplement for quality control? How many certifications does the company have?

8 – Pros/Cons: What are the pros and cons of each supplement? How is the supplement unique? For what situations is this supplement best?

Why are cold sores supplements important? 

Cold sores are an uncomfortable and unsightly condition that affects millions of people every year, causing embarrassment and physical pain.

Supplementation is an important step in managing outbreaks and preventing future recurrences. Many of the ingredients found in cold sore supplements have been clinically-proven to help soothe the itching and burning sensations associated with outbreaks, as well as decrease healing time.

Additionally, regular use of these supplements can help reduce the frequency of flare-ups, providing relief from the discomfort associated with repeated occurrence of a cold sore outbreak. It is important for those affected by this condition to speak with their doctor about the best supplement for their needs.

Who will benefit by taking supplements for cold sores? 

Those who suffer from recurrent cold sores can benefit from taking cold sores supplements. These dietary supplements contain a combination of amino acids, vitamins and minerals that can reduce inflammation and may also help prevent future outbreaks.

While natural remedies are available, these supplemental options provide a precise and consistent source of nutrients that the body needs to fight off the virus that causes cold sores.

When used in combination with other treatment options, these supplements can give patients the extra boost they need to keep this painful condition under control and avoid further discomfort.

Who should not take cold sore supplements?

Cold sores supplements are not recommended for certain groups of people, such as those who have certain underlying medical conditions or are taking any other kind of medication.

  • For instance, individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid these supplements since they may interact with other medications or be unsafe.
  • Additionally, people over the age of 65 should not take them without consulting with a doctor first, due to potential interaction risks and drug interactions.

Finally, it is important to remember that cold sores supplements are not substitutes for healthcare advice; always check with your doctor before starting anything new.

What are the risks to taking cold sore supplements?

Cold sore supplements are meant to support the healthy functioning of your immune system, helping to fight off any potential outbreaks. However, it is important to understand the risks associated with taking these supplements.

For instance, they could cause an allergic reaction or they may interact with other medications you are taking, leading to unexpected and potentially dangerous side-effects. It is always best to discuss any new supplement you decide to take with your doctor so that you can understand potential risks and be aware of potential conflicts between medications.

Ultimately, taking cold sore supplements can help in managing or reducing the severity or frequency of cold sores but being aware of your individual needs and talking to a medical professional is essential when considering their use.

What time should I take supplements for cold sores? 

Cold sores can be quite a nuisance, and taking the right supplements at the right time can help reduce their severity.

  • Generally, it is best to take cold sore supplements as soon as the tingling sensation begins around your lips. This is the symptom which indicates that a cold sore is about to emerge; by taking cold sore supplements immediately afterward, you can potentially prevent its formation altogether.
  • If a cold sore has already formed, then supplements should be taken 3 times daily until they have fully healed in order to speed up this process.

In any case, it is important to adhere strictly to your doctor’s advice when making decisions about cold sore supplementation; he or she can provide valuable input tailored to your individual medical history and any allergies or sensitivities you may have.

Food sources for cold sores

Cold sores can be caused by stress, fever, or even a cold and are simply clusters of blisters on the face.

While there is no cure for cold sores, eating certain foods may reduce their severity and amount of time they last.

  • These include foods high in lysine, an essential amino acid that helps block arginine which contributes to the replication of the virus that causes cold sores.
  • Eating a diet high in green or black tea can also lessen the intensity of breakouts due to tea’s natural antioxidant properties that help reduce inflammation and irritation.
  • Additionally, almonds and garlic are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce stress levels related to flare-ups.
  • Lastly, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day to keep your body in balance while it heals.

How can I improve my cold sores naturally without supplements? 

Cold sores are painful and annoying, but there are several steps you can take to naturally reduce the severity of a cold sore without resorting to supplements.

  • First, avoid triggers such as excessive sun exposure, poor nutrition, stress, or other illness. Keeping your overall health in check helps to prevent outbreaks from occurring in the first place.
  • If an outbreak does occur, however, it is important to keep the affected area clean and moisturized by using natural products such as beeswax lip balm or aloe vera gel.
  • Additionally, foods rich in vitamin C, lysine and zinc play an important role in fighting off active sores; so adding these items into your diet can help speed up the healing process.
  • Finally do not scratch or pick at the cold sore–doing so will only spread infections and worsen it.

Following these simple steps can prevent outbreaks from becoming severe and allow for natural healing of any existing cold sores.

How soon after taking supplements for cold sores will I feel better?

Cold sores can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience but with some proactive lifestyle choices and the help of certain supplements, you can see results relatively quickly.

It is important to start taking supplements as soon as cold sore symptoms appear, as this will create a beneficial environment both for symptom relief and for long-term prevention of future episodes.

Patients should expect to feel some relief within the first 24 hours, but stronger benefits will start to become apparent in the following few days. It is also important to take your supplement regularly, even after symptoms seem to have disappeared; by doing so you may help prevent flare-ups in the future.

What vitamins get rid of cold sores?

Vitamin E and Lysine have both been reported to help reduce the severity of cold sores. Vitamin C has also been known to reduce the duration of a cold sore outbreak.

Additionally, taking vitamin B complex can help boost immune system health and might even prevent cold sores from occurring in the first place.

What vitamin deficiency causes cold sores or herpes simplex virus?

Cold sores can be caused by a vitamin deficiency, particularly in vitamin B12 and folate.

A lack of these vitamins can suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off viruses that cause cold sores.

Additionally, low levels of iron and zinc may also contribute to outbreaks.

Is zinc good for cold sores?

Yes! Studies have shown that zinc may help reduce the severity and duration of cold sores. Zinc can work as an antiviral and increase immunity, which may help your body fight off viruses that cause cold sores.

Additionally, research has shown that taking a daily oral zinc supplement could help prevent further outbreaks.

What can I take daily to prevent cold sores?

To prevent cold sore outbreaks, it is advised to take a daily oral zinc supplement and increase your intake of vitamin B12, folate, iron and zinc.

Additionally, keeping up with good oral hygiene habits such as regularly brushing your teeth can also help reduce outbreaks.

It is also important to avoid high-stress situations and get enough sleep each night to help keep your immune system functioning optimally.

What cures fever blisters fast?

There is no guaranteed way to cure fever blisters quickly, but there are some home remedies that can help reduce the duration and severity of the outbreak.

Applying a cold compress, taking an antiviral medication such as acyclovir or Valtrex, consuming lysine tablets, applying aloe vera or lemon balm directly to the affected area, and taking a daily zinc supplement may all help reduce cold sore symptoms.

What vitamins can you take to prevent cold sores?

  • Taking a daily supplement of vitamins B12, folate, iron and zinc can help to prevent cold sores.
  • Vitamin C has also been linked to helping manage outbreaks as it supports the immune system.
  • Additionally, lysine tablets have been known to be helpful in managing cold sore symptoms.

How can I boost my immune system to prevent cold sores?

Boosting your immune system is an effective way to prevent cold sores.

  • Eating a balanced diet that is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals can help keep your immune system strong.
  • Additionally, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, avoiding stress where possible, and washing your hands are all good ways to stay healthy and support your immune system.
  • Taking probiotics or antioxidant supplements may also be beneficial.


Cold sore treatment is possible but prevention is best. Taking the right vitamins and minerals, practicing good hygiene habits, getting enough exercise and sleep, and reducing stress can all help to prevent cold sores from occurring in the first place.

Additionally, if you experience an outbreak of cold sores, there are steps you can take such as taking an antiviral medication or applying a cold compress to reduce the severity of your symptoms.

With the right treatment plan, you can effectively manage flare-ups and keep them from returning.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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