Due to malnutrition and protracted diarrhea, AIDS patients require a variety of nutritional supplements. Compared to those who don’t, HIV-positive men who take multivitamin and multimineral supplements experience a delayed onset of AIDS. The risk of HIV infection spreading to the unborn child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding in HIV-positive women is not decreased by taking multivitamins during these times. Multivitamins shouldn’t be taken in high doses because they don’t work any better than standard doses and affect liver function tests.
One of the most significant factors that raises the risk of death in HIV-positive individuals is selenium deficiency. A daily dose of about 400 micrograms of selenium supplementation reduces the risk of infection and improves appetite, bowel function, and heart function in HIV-positive individuals. Giving 200 mcg of selenium daily for two years reduces the rate of CD4 cell loss in AIDS patients who do not receive medical treatment. People with heart involvement brought on by HIV are more likely to have selenium deficiencies. In a small study, selenium deficiency was discovered in 80% of patients with AIDS and heart disease; these patients received supplements of 800 micrograms of selenium daily for 15 days, then 400 micrograms of selenium daily for another eight days. Improvement in cardiac functions was made as a result. Under the direction of a physician, supplements containing more than 200 micrograms of selenium per day should be taken.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): It contains glutathione, a potent antioxidant. In AIDS patients, 800 mg of NAC supplementation per day slows the deterioration of immune function.
Supplements for amino acids can be helpful. AIDS patients who have lost a lot of weight can gain an average of 1.5 kilograms over the course of eight weeks by taking a combination of 1.5 grams of hydroxymethylbutyrate, 7 grams of L-glutamine, and 7 grams of L-arginine twice daily. The majority of this weight gain is made up of muscle mass (superior to placebo).
The amino acid glutamine is necessary for the antioxidant glutathione to be produced. Mostly as a result of malnutrition, glutathione levels are low in AIDS patients. Combining glutamine and NAC supplementation is advised to ensure adequate glutathione levels. Taking 20 grams of glutamine daily is beneficial.
Methionine: It can be deficient in AIDS patients, and its deficiency is particularly linked to the illness’s impairment of brain functions. Methionine supplementation of 6 grams per day can lessen the harm done to the nervous system by AIDS. Probiotics: Patients who are HIV-positive can stop experiencing diarrhea by taking a probiotic supplement containing one gram of Saccharomyces boulardii three times per day. Probiotic supplements can cause systemic opportunistic infections in patients with severe immune system deficiencies, so HIV-positive patients should avoid using them without a doctor’s advice and follow-up.
Dehydroepiandosterone sulfate (DHEA sulfate): In HIV patients, the disease progresses more slowly due to low levels of this hormone in the blood. HIV patients’ energy levels and spirits significantly improve after taking 200–500 mg of DHEA daily for eight weeks.
B vitamins: Giving B complex vitamins to HIV patients who are deficient in them slows the disease’s progression and lowers their risk of dying. Both vitamin B6 and vitamin B1 deficiency are linked to nervous system problems and immune system deterioration, respectively. Deficits in the vitamins B1, B6, folic acid, and B12 are widespread. Those who consume more than 64 mg of vitamin B3 daily have a lower risk of developing AIDS or passing away. In patients with malnutrition or diarrhea, supplemental B vitamins should be taken in addition to diet.
Vitamin C: AIDS patients’ disease progression is slowed by an adequate dietary intake. It raises resistance against infections and enhances quality of life. Very high doses of vitamin C (40–185 grams per day) are used in some studies, but they are not combined with antiviral medications because they weaken the effects of the protease inhibitor indinavir.
Vitamin D: Compared to earlier years, HIV-positive patients now live longer. Treatment drugs, HIV infection, and chronic inflammatory processes all increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture. For this reason, it’s important to keep an eye on vitamin D and calcium deficiencies in HIV-positive people and to give them supplements when a problem is found. Additionally, a vitamin D deficiency prevents the recovery of the CD4 cell count after medical intervention.
CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10): People with HIV frequently have low levels of CoQ10. In patients receiving 200 mg of CoQ10 daily for seven months, it was found that the risk of infection decreased and the number of cells fighting infection increased. Zinc: Its level is frequently low in those with HIV infection. low level of zinc Patients with diabetes mellitus who receive zinc supplements see a decrease in infections and an increase in CD4 cells. It is advised to take a daily 45 mg supplement. Zinc supplementation significantly lowers the risk of death from diarrhea, particularly in children who are HIV positive or negative.
Iron: Children who are HIV-positive frequently have iron deficiencies. Iron is necessary for the immune system to function normally, but iron deficiency protects against diseases like malaria. According to the doctor’s advice, iron supplements should only be used in patients who are deficient because they can increase the risk of infection, especially malaria, in AIDS patients.
Whey protein: It contains a lot of cysteine, an amino acid that the body uses to make glutathione, an antioxidant. Blood glutathione levels are raised and the risk of infection is decreased with the aid of 45 grams of whey powder per day.
SUGGESTIONS FOR HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS
It is necessary to list the substances that shouldn’t be used in AIDS patients in particular. Most medications used in the treatment of AIDS interact with garlic and St. John’s Wort plants, reducing their effectiveness by more than half. Therefore, it should not be consumed by drug users.
Utilizing 990 mg of its extract daily slows the progression of HIV infection. Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) leaf. There were no negative side effects of note.
Licorice root: Injecting the active component, glycyrrhizin, has been shown to have some benefits in AIDS patients. It is advantageous when taken orally for the long-term management of HIV infection. Licorice root needs to be used under a doctor’s supervision due to potential side effects like potassium and blood pressure reduction. Licorice root is consumed daily in doses of 2 grams as capsules or tea. Despite having few side effects, deglycyrrhizinated licorice root does not help HIV patients.
Sangre de Drago (Croton lechieri) is effective in treating diarrhea brought on by HIV or AIDS when taken as an extract at a dose of 350–700 mg four times per day. These doses should only be used under a doctor’s supervision due to their high strength.
St. John’s wort: Patients who took the active ingredient hypericin at a dose of 1 mg daily without receiving drug therapy saw some improvement in CD4 count. It interacts with medications used in medical treatment, so it is not advised to be used.
Garlic: It may be effective in preventing opportunistic infections. Infection and diarrhea risk are decreased in AIDS patients using aged garlic extract. But drug users shouldn’t eat garlic because it reduces the effectiveness and absorption of HIV infection medications from the intestines.
Andrografis: A significant rise in CD4 count was observed at a daily dose of 10 mg/kg in a phase 1 study using the active component andrographolide. It should not be used without a doctor’s guidance because anaphylaxis, liver dysfunction, and taste disturbance are possible side effects.
Panax ginseng (Lion ginseng, red ginseng): Over the course of a 24-month treatment period, taking Korcan red ginseng reduces the emergence of drug resistance, and after five years of use, it slows the loss of CD4 cells in HIV-positive patients. In healthy individuals, Panax ginseng has no impact on the metabolism of medications used to treat AIDS. Although there aren’t many studies, using ginseng might have additional advantages.
Echinacea: Patients who took one gram of echinacea angustifolia root three times a day saw an immune system boost against HIV infection in a double-blind, randomized study, but placebo had no such benefit. No research has been done on its curative effects for disease, though. The metabolism of drugs used to treat AIDS is not hampered by echinacea. There should be no more than 8 weeks of use.
Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, aids in the growth of CD4 cells in HIV-positive individuals. Three times a day, one gram is taken orally. Since piperine and black pepper extract together with turmeric have a poor absorption rate, the utilization of piperine is increased by about 20 times.
Cat’s claw may help slow the decline in CD4 count and lower the risk of opportunistic infections, according to a few small studies.
Tea tree oil: By mouthwashing with 15 ml of 5% solution four times per day and spitting out the solution, AIDS patients’ fungal layers in the mouth are removed. Soon after use, there is a slight burning sensation.