Most of us, at one time or another, have had colds or the flu, and we are especially vulnerable during the cold and flu season. The symptoms — fever, congestion, coughing, sore throat — spread through offices, schools and homes, no matter where in the world we live. Viruses cause colds and the flu (influenza). Viruses are responsible for many other serious, often deadly, diseases including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), Ebola hemorrhagic fever, infectious hepatitis and herpes. How can viruses cause so much trouble? What makes us so vulnerable to them, and what makes them spread?

Unlike human cells or bacteria, viruses don’t contain the enzymes needed to carry out the chemical reactions for life and are not capable of replicating their genes by themselves. Instead, viruses carry only one or two enzymes that decode their genetic instructions, and they must rely on a host cell for reproduction. In order for viral replication to occur, the virus must first infect a host cell. The virus injects its genetic material into the cell and uses the cell’s organelles to replicate. Once a sufficient number of viruses are replicated, the newly formed viruses lyse or break open the host cell and move on to infect other cells.

So, a virus is basically a microscopic parasite that must have a host cell in which to live and make more viruses. Outside of a host cell, viruses cannot function. For this reason, viruses tread the fine line that separates living things from nonliving things.

Viruses lie around our environment all of the time, just waiting for a host cell to come along. They can enter us through the nose, mouth or breaks in the skin. Once inside your body, they find a host cell to infect. For example, cold and flu viruses will attack cells that line the respiratory or digestive tracts. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, attacks the T-cells of the immune system.

Once inside the cell, the viral enzymes take over those enzymes of the host cell and begin making copies of the viral genetic instructions and new viral proteins using the virus’s genetic instructions and the cell’s enzyme machinery. The new copies of the viral genetic instructions are packaged inside the new protein coats to make new viruses.

When the new viruses are made, they leave the host cell in one of two ways:
-They break the host cell open (lysis) and destroy the host cell.
-They pinch out from the cell membrane and break away with a piece of the cell membrane surrounding them. This is how enveloped viruses leave the cell. In this way, the host cell is not destroyed.

Once free from the host cell, the new viruses can attack other cells. Because one virus can reproduce thousands of new viruses, viral infections can spread quickly throughout the body.

The sequence of events that occurs when you come down with the flu or a cold is a good demonstration of how a virus works:

  1. An infected person sneezes near you.
  2. You inhale the virus particle, and it attaches to cells lining the sinuses in your nose.
  3. The virus attacks the cells lining the sinuses and rapidly reproduces new viruses.
  4. The host cells break, and new viruses spread into your bloodstream and also into your lungs Because you have lost cells lining your sinuses, fluid can flow into your nasal passages and give you a runny nose.
  5. Viruses in the fluid that drips down your throat attack the cells lining your throat and give you a sore throat.
  6. Viruses in your bloodstream can attack muscle cells and cause you to have muscle aches.

Your immune system responds to the infection, and in the process of fighting, it produces chemicals called pyrogens that cause your body temperature to increase. This fever actually helps you to fight the infection by slowing down the rate of viral reproduction, because most of your body’s chemical reactions have an optimal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If your temperature rises slightly above this, the reactions slow down. This immune response continues until the viruses are eliminated from your body. However, if you sneeze, you can spread thousands of new viruses into the environment to await another host.

Some viruses, such as herpes and HIV, do not reproduce right away. Instead, they mix their genetic instructions into the host cell’s genetic instructions. When the host cell reproduces, the viral genetic instructions get copied into the host cell’s offspring.

The host cells may undergo many rounds of reproduction, and then some environmental or predetermined genetic signals will stir the “sleeping” viral instructions. The viral genetic instructions will then take over the host’s enzyme machinery and make new viruses.

Because a virus is merely a set of genetic instructions surrounded by a protein coat, and because it does not carry out any biochemical reactions of its own, viruses can live for years or longer outside a host cell. Some viruses can “sleep” inside the genetic instructions of the host cells for years before reproducing. For example, a person infected with HIV can live without showing symptoms of AIDS for years, but he or she can still spread the virus to others.

Contrary to popular belief, antibiotics have no effect on a virus. Most antibiotics interfere with the reproduction of bacteria, hindering their creation of new genetic instructions or new cell walls. Because viruses do not carry out their own biochemical reactions, antibiotics do not affect them.

Natural ways to fight viruses

Both L-lysine and Olive Leaf are very effective at fighting viruses.

Extracts from olive leaves have been shown to treat infection caused by a large number of viruses as well as bacteria, parasitic protozoans, and fungi. A phytochemical in olive leaf, call oleuropein, is able to stop viruses in their tracks. Oleuropein neutralizes the enzymes that are important for the virus to replicate itself and spread. Oleuropein also has the ability to interfere with the critical amino acid production essential for viruses.

L-lysine, an essential amino acid, may be the most effective treatment against the herpes virus. Lysine is both preventative as well as able to treat active infections. When combined with zinc, lysine has been shown to eliminate nearly all herpes virus symptoms within six days.

In addition to fighting viruses, L-lysine has many other benefits.

  1. L-lysine helps fight cancer.
  2. It reduces anxiety.
  3.  It helps the body absorb calcium to prevent osteoarthritis.
  4.  It benefits people with diabetes by preventing the production of advanced glycation end products which can lead to infection.
  5. It supports a healthy gut by preventing leaky gut syndrome and also suppresses inflammation that leads to pancreatitis.

To protect yourself against viruses that are more prevalent this time of year, call Doctor’s Nutrition today at 1-800-824-0194.


  1. Cookie Colletti on 03/02/2020 at 11:10 PM

    Thank you for this information. I already take l-lysine and was surprised to learn all the things it treats. I also take colloidal silver for viruses, inflammation etc. can you tell me some in depth facts about it?

    • Victor on 03/03/2020 at 8:42 AM

      This website should be beneficial for further information: Please let us know if you need any further information. You may call 1-800-824-0194 and ask to speak to one of the doctors. Thank you for using our website.

  2. mvdlinden on 03/05/2020 at 11:56 PM

    Except that studies have shown L-lysine increases the replication of HIV.

    • Victor on 03/06/2020 at 9:10 AM

      This particular study was inconclusive. Please read the last paragraph. “Although the impact mechanism of L-lysine amino acid on the viral load in the pathogenesis of HIV-infection is at present conjectural and requires further development, the results highlight an interesting target in antiviral therapy, and this statement remains to be proved in further research and clinical trials.”

  3. Liv on 03/12/2020 at 9:10 AM

    Thank you for sharing information so indepth but in such a way that an average person can understand. In the time of a corvid outbreak I was hoping to find more information on Lysine and how it rebuilds cells. I read a very long medical article few years ago on it but for fighting the flu and any virus and mentioned it to a doctor while taking my son to the walk in clinic and she was very surprised I’d read it and claimed that everyone working at the clinic used lysine as a defense from the flu but they didnt share it with the public because that was there job, caring for sick people.

    • Victor on 03/19/2020 at 8:05 AM

      Thank you for your kind words! There have been many many years of great research on Lysine and it’s effects on viruses. During a time of uncharted waters for our whole world, we are here for our customers in anyway possible we are able to be, but are trying to answer questions more individually for now about what is best for each customer. We never want anyone to feel that we are pushing anything in a time of hysteria. That being said, please contact us through our website, and if you click on our contact us, we can definitely have one of the doctors contact you by phone or by email and discuss L-lysine, and all of it’s wonderful uses for many viruses! We agree, it is something that is important to keep on hand at all times! Thank you so much for your inquiry, and for following us! We look forward to talking with you! Please follow this link if you wish for us to contact you personnally:

  4. Jerell on 03/19/2020 at 12:54 AM

    What’s the amount of mg to take for lysine and zinc to heal herpes in 6 days?

    • Victor on 03/19/2020 at 10:12 AM

      Our doctors suggest 4,000 mg twice daily of the Lysine when active infection or outbreak. That is 8 of the 500 mg caps twice daily. After the healing is complete, I recommend 4 of the 500 mg capsules at bedtime each night to keep down future outbreaks. Zinc, during an out break, up to 100 mg per day, then reduce to no more than 50 mg per day.

      • Ursula on 03/30/2020 at 1:46 AM

        This is really interesting. I have oral herpes and I have learned through trial and error that the only thing that helps is L-lysine. I’ve had it since I was a kid. During an outbreak I take 4 1000 mg pills two or three times over the space of six or eight hours then if it hasn’t completely calmed down I take two more but usually it’s nullified by that. I’m wondering if I should tell my family to start taking 1000 mg every day just to combat potential exposure to coronavirus. Thoughts?

        • Victor on 04/07/2020 at 2:09 PM

          Great question. Since Herpes, as well as many other viruses, need L Arginine to bloom (grow) and L Lysine reduces its ability to bloom, taking Lysine on a daily basis is a safe and effective method for adults to prevent the outbreaks of the virus. We don’t recommend it in growing children, but adults it is fine.

          Lysine is hard to get in the diet as most is destroyed during the cooking process. Arginine is plentiful and available in nuts and many other foods. Knowing you have any of the Herpes in your body, and knowing that your immune system can have a hard time controlling it, it is a great idea to take Lysine on a daily basis. I have done that for many years and it provides security in knowing that as long as I take the Lysine, I don’t have to worry about an outbreak. It may take more than a 1,000 mg daily dose, but time will tell. If you take that dose, and have an outbreak, just increase the daily dose until you can prevent any future outbreaks.
          In health,

          Dr. Jim Fox, D.C.
          Member American College of Nutrition

  5. Maria on 03/20/2020 at 11:29 AM

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this! How much lysein and how much olive leaf extract should be taken for preventative measures during this corona virus epidemic?
    Stay safe and healthy!

    • Victor on 03/24/2020 at 10:10 AM

      For preventative measures our doctors recommend 2500 mg once or twice daily on the Lysine. As for the Olivir, they recommend 1000 mg twice daily would be sufficient.

      • Mohan Kumar Yadav on 03/25/2020 at 9:57 AM

        Above comments are very useful. Along with Lysin & Olivir in Covid-19,
        is Vanslochan with Honey is helpful as preventive measure to strengthen the Lungs anatomy that is most vulnerable to Covid-19 ??

      • The Happy Therapist ? on 04/01/2020 at 3:52 PM

        I work at a behavioral health hospital and began having symptoms that included a dry, painful cough and difficulty breathing with chest and back pain when trying to inhale about two weeks ago (no fever). I’m not sure if it was COVID19 or regular pneumonia because I couldn’t get tested. I stayed in and began taking olive leaf capsules. My breathing got easier and chest pain relieved a bit after about 2 hours . Symptoms were completely gone after 4 days of taking 3 of the 400mg capsules before bedtime. I got the organic brand from a vitamin shop. I only take it when I begin to feel like I might be getting sick as I don’t know the effects that long term use have on the liver. Now I am not saying that this is a treatment for pneumonia (or COVID19) , but it got rid of whatever I had!

  6. Sharon on 03/22/2020 at 7:17 PM

    Thanks for the info.

  7. Eddie on 03/25/2020 at 4:38 PM

    I read the lysine blocks the production of L-arginine which allows the arteries to expand. If this is true wouldn’t taking lysine be a bad idea for persons with high blood pressure and other heart issues? Thanks

    • Victor on 03/28/2020 at 11:37 PM

      It does, but not enough, in most cases, to cause any adverse effects. It is a good idea for that person to eat more nuts, etc. to increase the intake of L- arginine, or they could take something like Amino Flo. If they are taking it for an outbreak, I suggest not taking L Arginine or eating increased amounts of nuts until the flare up is under control. A lower dose of L-Lysine is well tolerated even by those on B/P meds. Most Lysine in foods is destroyed during the cooking process and Arginine is not. Easy to get Arginine, hard to get Lysine.

      Dr. Jim Fox, D.C.
      Member American College of Nutrition

  8. Pam on 03/26/2020 at 12:45 PM

    I am a RN and have been talking about the benefits of Olive leaf for about 10 years now. For me I have Olive Trees and boil a strong tea with about a sandwich baggie full of fresh leaves…. it tastes nasty but when I feel like I am coming down with a cold or have flu like symptoms I go out and pick some leaves and make a good strong tea. If I start to get a cold sore I go pick a leaf and nibble it to soften it up a little and keep it on my lip. Since I never get sick after drinking the tea and one or two leafs do so good on the cold sores I know the olive leaf works! I don’t know if it works on Covid-19 but Hubby and I just got finished drinking a cup of the tea.
    Thank You for sharing! I copied down the link and shared it on my Face Book wall.

  9. Linda on 03/28/2020 at 4:49 AM

    Hi, my son was diagnosed with autism 18 years ago, I understood the usual school flu/cold infections and ear infections would only make things worse for him. So, that’s when I discovered olive tea, lucky me I moved into a house the same year with a big olive tree. We have been taking it ever since, pills or tea. Instead of boiling I steep leaves for 40 min after water reaches boil, has a mild enjoying taste. I get some and spray on hands/ face and items for covid-19. Am I crazy or would this work on surfaces too? It feels so clean after I spray it on my hands and face. Does Oleuropein break the protein molecule surface of vivid-19 and stop the virus in its track, or does it only work in your body? Thank you in advance.

    • Victor on 03/30/2020 at 11:11 AM

      This is a great question. If we go back to the late 60’s we find that Upjohn pharmaceutical was doing a lot of research on the oleuropein compounds and found that virtually any pathogen, viral and bacterial, was stopped from growing in the petri dish. Based on that, I do think it would be a good idea to use. I am unaware of any specific research in the mechanism of action on the protein molecule surface of the Covid virus. Again, I think it is a great idea to use it along with other precautions at this time.
      Dr. Jim Fox D.C.
      Member American College of Nutrition

  10. william boyce on 04/04/2020 at 11:16 AM

    im taking lysine & quercetin do you recommened quercetin?

    • Victor on 04/07/2020 at 9:17 AM

      Please call our office after 10am Central time and one of the doctors will be glad to discuss this with you. 1-800-824-0194. Thank you for contacting Doctor’s Nutrition.

  11. Viva on 04/06/2020 at 12:14 PM

    Does the effect from olive leaves applied also to the olive oil?

    • Victor on 04/07/2020 at 12:02 PM

      No it sure does not. Olive oil does not contain high enough quantities of the oleuropein to be effective as a anti microbial. Great for the type of fats it contains, just not anti microbial.

  12. Lois on 04/07/2020 at 11:57 PM

    I am interested in all that has been said to date on this subject. I have been using olive leaf extract in our family for over 15 years since it was recommended by a friend for a nasty flu we all got. The greatest stuff, we all have a daily dose through the winter and flu seasons and despite sharing air conditioned offices with other coughing shivering diseased people we seem to keep on top! I am trusting this will keep us through this COV 19 crisis, and no one is let out the door without their morning dose!
    I cannot understand why this treatment has not been brought to the attention of government and medical profession at this desperate time? Surely even the die-hard doctors of science could see it’s worth a try?

  13. Cookie Colletti on 04/09/2020 at 12:30 PM

    are the leaves from the black olive tree the same as the olive leaf extract? I’d like to try and make the tea but want to make sure leave from black olive tress are safe to use. Thank You.

  14. Nan on 04/12/2020 at 2:57 PM

    Can you provide links to studies that do support the use of Lysine to reduce viral load or it’s action on herpes of other virus? I wasn’t able to find any. Thank you

    • Victor on 04/17/2020 at 10:13 AM

      See if this helps:
      Dermatologica. 1978;156(5):257-67.
      A multicentered study of lysine therapy in Herpes simplex infection.

      Griffith RS, Norins AL, Kagan C.

      Lysine appears to suppress the clinical manifestations of herpesvirus
      infection. 45 patients with frequently recurring herpes infection were
      given 312-1,200 mg of lysine daily in single or multiple doses. The
      clinical results demonstrated a beneficial effect from supplementary
      lysine in accelerating recovery from herpes simplex infection and
      suppressing recurrence. Tissue culture studies have demonstrated an
      enhancing effect on viral replication when the amino acid ratio of
      arginine to lysine favors arginine. The opposite, preponderance of
      lysine to arginine, suppresses viral replication and inhibits
      cytopathogenicity of herpes simplex virus. The codons characterizing
      herpes simplex DNA apparently specify production of viral capsids at the
      expense of host cell histones.
      PMID: 640102 DOI: 10.1159/000250926