AIDS - Dietary Supplements

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AIDS Dietary Supplements:



Dietary supplements are commonly used in an effort to boost the immune system. Foods or substances derived from foods (garlic, Chinese bitter melon, and turmeric) are used, as well as non food dietary supplements such as shark cartilage or blue-green algae (spirulina). Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are also used in an attempt to boost the immune system.

Supplements can be beneficial as just that: supplements to a well balanced healing foods diet. Supplements are not a substitute for the vitamins in food. If you'd like to start taking supplements, consult with an HIV nutrition specialist to help you develop a supplement regimen that meets your needs. In general:

• Use supplements consistently for 6-8 weeks in order to see results.
• Never take supplements on an empty stomach: they will be absorbed more effectively if you take them with food.
• Tell your primary care provider about the supplements that you are taking.

Some specific supplement suggestions are:
  • Protein/Calorie (Boost, Ensure, etc.)
    Use: weight gain
    *not for people with severe thrush or yeast infections
  • Protein Powders (whey, glutamine, soy)
    Use: increase protein intake (can help build/preserve muscle mass)
    *not for people with severe liver or kidney disease
  • Therapeutic Multivitamins
    Use: provides 100% of the recommended daily allowance of many vitamins
  • Selenium
    Use: antioxidant
    This is the only supplement directly related to improved mortality in HIV infection. The recommended daily allowance can be obtained in 1-2 Brazil nuts or in pill form.
  • Alpha Lipoic/Thioctic Acid
    Use: antioxidant
    Good for liver detoxification and neuropathy relief.
  • Calcium
    Use: preserves bone, muscle, and nerve function
    May help treat diarrhoea.
  • Coenzyme Q10
    Use: support body's energy pathways
    May aid in mitochondrial toxicity from long-term antiretroviral use.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-17