Today, a well designed study in Botswana, is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showing a highly positive effect for multivitamins and seleniumWhat it does: Antioxidant properties help to protect against free radicals and carcinogens, reduces inflammation, stimulates immune system to fight infections, promotes a healthy heart,… given in the early stages of HIV infection.
The main measure of progression of the infection is the decrease in immune T-cell (or CD4 cell) count, indicating suppressed immunity, plus the development of symptoms. A CD4 cell count of 500 to 1000/µl is considered normal. Anti-Retro Viral drug therapy (ARVs) is recommended when CD4 cell count goes below 350µl.
This trial involved 872 people identified as HIV positive, not on ARV drugs. They were either given placebo or a multivitamin, a selenium supplement or both. The effective treatment was the multivitamin plus selenium combined so I’m going to focus on this.
The multivitamin provided 500mg of vitamin CWhat it does: Strengthens immune system – fights infections. Makes collagen, keeping bones, skin and joints firm and strong. Antioxidant, detoxifying pollutants and protecting against…, plus reasonable amounts of B vitamins (thiamin, 20mg; riboflavin, 20mg; niacin, 100mg; vitamin B6, 25mg; vitamin B12, 50μg; folic acidWhat it does: Critical during pregnancy for the development of a baby’s brain and nerves. Also essential for brain and nerve function. Needed for utilising…,800 μg) and a little vitamin EWhat it does: Acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage, including against cancer. Helps body use oxygen, preventing blood clots, thrombosis, atherosclerosis. Improves wound… (30 mg). The selenium supplement provided 200mcg.
After 2 years the multi plus selenium combination had significantly reduced the decline in CD4 cell count to both a level of 350µl and 250µl, and also the combined outcome of ‘less AIDS-defining conditions or AIDS death’. Roughly averaging, the effect of taking a daily multivitamin plus selenium halved the risk of CD4 cell count dropping below 350µl or developing AIDS-defining symptoms or dying.
I have written extensively about the promising role of very high dose vitamin C in my Special Report . Also, there is a known role for the potent antioxidantAntioxidants are substances that protect cells within the body from damage caused by free radicals. They help to strengthen the body’s ability to fight infection… and precursor for glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC as it is known. I would be supplementing at least 2 grams of this a day if I was HIV positive.
An aggressive nutritional approach to HIV infection would be the combination of a multivitamin, selenium 200mcg, high dose vitamin C up to bowel tolerance and NAC. This kind of strategy is most likely to significantly delay or prevent the development of symptoms and a falling CD4 cell count.
For more on boosting your immune system read Boost Your Immune System.
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