Antioxidant supplementation and HIV

The NYBC website offers info sheets on many individual dietary supplements. One of the most comprehensive information sheets is “Antioxidants and HIV,” from which we give the main conclusions (below).
See also our post on “K-Pax” for more on the practical considerations involved in using antioxidant supplementation.

…the use of antioxidant nutrients along with nucleoside analog drugs [for HIV] may well help to prevent the damage the nukes might otherwise cause. The same antioxidants could also help to counter the oxidative stress of HIV disease, in general, in ways that could protect immune cells and slow disease progression.

Diagnosis of either oxidative stress or mitochondrial problems is mostly done only in studies since the laboratory assessments that can show these phenomena are difficult to do and are not commonly available to individuals. However, the research evidence that these problems exist in people with HIV is compelling enough for us to believe that everyone living with this disease should be doing whatever is possible to counter them.

Among the most important nutrients for countering these problems are antioxidant vitamins and minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids. Of particular importance are the nutrients that work together to maintain a healthy level of glutathione and the important enzymes for which it is a cofactor (glutathione peroxidase and glutathione transferase). These include N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, glutamine, selenium, and vitamins C and E. These and the other important antioxidants (including the carotenoids and coenzyme Q-10) are needed to counter the oxidative stress and help reduce the body wide inflammation that HIV infection causes.

You can find the full information sheet here:
NYBC Info Sheets


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