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HIV and AIDS Support

Also indexed as:AIDS-Associated Wasting
Give your body a boost by focusing on fitness and choosing the right combination of foods and nutritional supplements. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Arginine, HMB, and Glutamine

(Loss of Lean Body Mass)
1.5 grams of HMB, 7 grams of L-glutamine, and 7 grams of L-arginine twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
The combination of glutamine, arginine, and HMB may prevent loss of lean body mass in people with AIDS-associated wasting.
Boxwood
990 mg per day of an extract of the leaves and stems2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with boxwood appears to support CD4 cell counts.
DHEA
200 to 500 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Large amounts of supplemental DHEA may alleviate fatigue in HIV-positive people.
Licorice
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Licorice inhibits HIV reproduction in test tubes, supplementing with it may be safe and effective for long-term treatment of HIV infection.
Multivitamin
Follow label directions2 stars[2 stars]
Taking a daily multivitamin supplement may prevent common deficiencies associated with HIV and AIDS.
N-Acetyl Cysteine
800 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with NAC may slow the decline in immune function.
Saccharomyces boulardii
Take under medical supervision: 1 gram three times per day of Saccharomyces boulardii for diarrhea2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, Saccharomyces boulardii helped stop diarrhea in HIV-positive people.
Sangre de Drago

(Diarrhea)
Take under medical supervision: 350 to 700 mg four times per day for seven or more days2 stars[2 stars]
An extract from stem bark latex of Sangre de Drago, an herb from the Amazon basin of Peru, has been shown to be effective against diarrhea associated with HIV and AIDS.
Selenium
Take under medical supervision: 400 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with selenium may result in fewer infections, a healthier appetite, and other benefits.
Zinc
12 to 45 mg daily 2 stars[2 stars]
Zinc levels are frequently low in people with HIV infection. Zinc supplements have been shown to reduce the number of infections in people with AIDS.
Andrographis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A trial of isolated andrographolides, found in andrographis, showed that they decreased viral load and increased CD4 lymphocyte levels in people with HIV infection.
Asian Ginseng
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
One study found that steamed then dried Asian ginseng had beneficial effects in people infected with HIV and increased the effectiveness of the anti-HIV drug AZT.
Beta-Carotene
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Beta-carotene levels have been found to be low in HIV-positive people, supplementing with it may be beneficial.
Cat's Claw
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Cat's claw is an immuno-modulating herb. Standardized extracts of it have been shown to help prevent CD4 cell counts from dropping and to prevent opportunistic infections.
Coenzyme Q10
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial, people with HIV who took CoQ10 experienced no further infections for up to seven months, and counts of infection-fighting white blood cells improved in some cases.
Echinacea
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with echinacea may increase immune activity against HIV.
Eleuthero
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Eleuthero is an immune-modulating plant that may be beneficial for people with HIV infection.
Folic Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Low folic acid levels are also common in HIV-positive people, supplementing may help correct a deficiency.
Garlic
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Garlic may help combat opportunistic infections. In one trial, an aged garlic extract reduced the number of infections and relieved diarrhea in a group of patients with AIDS.
Glutamine
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The amino acid glutamine is needed for the synthesis of glutathione, an important antioxidant that is frequently depleted in people with HIV and AIDS.
Iron
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Iron deficiency is often present in HIV-positive children. Supplementing with it, under a doctor's supervision, may support immune function.
Maitake
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Maitake mushrooms contain immuno-modulating polysaccharides (including beta-D-glucan) that may be supportive for HIV infection.
Methionine
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
One trial found that methionine may improve memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.
Mistletoe
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Mistletoe injections into the skin have shown beneficial effects in people with HIV.
Reishi
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Reishi is medicinal mushroom with immune-modulating effects that may be beneficial for people with HIV infection.
Shiitake
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Shiitake is medicinal mushroom immune-modulating effects that may be beneficial for people with HIV infection.
Sho-Saiko-To (Bupleurum, Peony, Pinellia, Cassia, Ginger, Jujube, Asian Ginseng, Asian Scullcap, and Licorice)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The herbal formula sho-saiko-to has been shown to have beneficial immune effects on white blood cells in people infected with HIV.
St. John's Wort
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A preliminary trial found that people infected with HIV who took hypericin, a constituent from St. John's wort, had some improvements in CD4+ cell counts.
Tea Tree
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A 5% solution of tea tree oil has been shown to eliminate oral thrush in people with AIDS, according to one trial.
Thymus Extracts
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In one trial, a thymus extract known as Thymomodulin improved several immune parameters among people with early HIV infection, including an increase in T-helper cells.
Turmeric
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Turmeric may be a useful herb with immune effects in people infected with HIV. One trial found that curcumin, turmeric's main active compound, helped improve CD4+ cell counts.
Vitamin A
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin A deficiency is common in people with HIV infection, and low levels of the vitamin are associated with greater disease severity. Ask your doctor if vitamin A is right for you.
Vitamin B1
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People with AIDS often have thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, which may contribute to some neurological abnormalities, supplementing with the vitamin may help.
Vitamin B12
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In HIV-positive people with B-vitamin deficiency, B vitamins appear to delay progression to and death from AIDS.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B3 may play a role in HIV prevention and treatment. A form of vitamin B3 (niacinamide) has been shown to inhibit HIV in test tube studies.
Vitamin B6
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B6 deficiency was found in more than one-third of HIV-positive men, deficiency was associated with decreased immune function in this group. Supplementing with the vitamin may improve survival rate.
Vitamin E
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In test-tube studies, vitamin E improved the effectiveness of the anti-HIV drug zidovudine (AZT) while reducing its toxicity.
Whey Protein
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Whey protein is rich in the amino acid cysteine, which the body uses to make glutathione, an important antioxidant. Supplementing with it may improve immune function.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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