July 01, 2004

Multivitamins Slow AIDS

A new study indicates that daily multivitamin use can slow the progression of AIDS. The news is expected to provide a welcome avenue of supplemental treatment for developing nations.

...The beneficial vitamins were in the B family, as well as vitamins C and E. Curiously, vitamin A -- which has huge health benefits in undernourished children -- was of no help, and was possibly harmful, in HIV-infected adults.

...In all, the effects of multivitamins were comparable to what was achieved by taking AZT alone in studies done during the 1980s when that was the only antiretroviral drug available. ...

The study was carried out among pregnant women in Tanzania, and as the article says, it's unclear if benefits would be observed in a better nourished population. The study showed benefits ranging from delayed onset to diminished incidence of conditions that severely degrade quality of life.

Random multivitamin tips: 1) If your eyelid gets a tic, it might be a sign that your body has too much calcium and not enough magnesium, as the two need to be in balance. 2) Individuals with autism spectrum disorders are likely to be deficient in magnesium and B6, and may sometimes experience significant benefits from supplementation. B vitamins should usually be taken together in a complex unless otherwise directed for a specific condition. 3) Men and children shouldn't take multivitamins with iron unless a doctor diagnoses them with anemia, as it can build up to toxic levels in the body. 4) If you have food allergies, check the labels on vitamin supplements and don't buy them unless they specifically say they don't have what you're allergic to. If you're allergic to soy, the vast majority of vitamin E on the market comes from soy even though it rarely says that on labels, so choose carefully.

Posted by natasha at July 1, 2004 01:50 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |