May 7, 2007
Selenium Supplementation 'May Combat HIV'Topics: Medical Science News
(And other diseases as well)
Is there a "cheap and easy" way to keep HIV in check? Researchers at The University of Miami have found a lower HIV viral load in patients who took selenium supplements for nine months, which suggests that taking daily selenium supplements may block the build up of HIV in a patient's blood:
Selenium deficiencies have been recorded in HIV patients, and evidence suggests the mineral can improve the function of the immune system.More here ...
The Archives of Internal Medicine study suggests the supplements may be a cheap and easy way to help keep HIV in check.
Advances in antiretroviral therapy (ART) have given HIV patients a longer life expectancy.
However, strict adherence to the therapy is required to keep HIV viral counts low, and there is a risk of side effects.
Therefore, scientists have been searching for alternative treatments to keep HIV under control.
More immune cells
Over nine months, the University of Miami team gave 91 HIV patients a daily capsule containing 200 micrograms of high-selenium yeast, and another 83 patients a daily placebo capsule.
The two groups had similar selenium levels at the beginning of the study, but after nine months levels were higher in the group taking the capsules containing the mineral.
Those with higher selenium levels in their blood were more likely to have a lower HIV viral load, and higher numbers of CD4 cells, which play a key role in fighting off infection.
The researchers said the exact mechanism by which selenium exerts its effects on HIV is not known.
Readers are encouraged to keep in mind that in interpreting this new report, it must be remembered that antiretroviral therapy is the only currently effective treatment for HIV. "Selenium may have a supportive role alongside antiretroviral therapy but it cannot be a treatment in itself."
Selenium is a trace mineral that is required for a healthy immune system, and in scientific analysis it shows promising effects on reducing the risk of cancer and regulating thyroid function. A study published in the January 2007 issue of Epidemiology carried out by the University of Montpellier in France shows that it may also help to deter Alzheimer's.
Posted by Richard at May 7, 2007 2:29 PM
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