Getting a Complex: How to Choose Vitamins and Supplements (and tell Doc everything you take)
range and potency In one pill or a handful, get the whole B complex (50–100 mg/day) and antioxidants:
- vitamin C (500–1,000 mg/day)
- vitamin E (400–800 IU/day),
- selenium (200 mcg/day),
- zinc (15–30 mg/day),
- alpha-lipoic acid (600–1,200 mg/day)
- N-acetyl cysteine (1,000–2,000 mg/day)
- acetyl-l-carnitine (1,500–3,000 mg/day)
HIVers need high doses; a tablet with 50-plus mg of B complex is strong enough. If you’ve got hepatitis C, too, it’s best to avoid iron.
quality Brands with no additives, fillers and binders may work better, with less gastro upset (always take vits with meals). Look for yeast- and allergen-free products; nix artificial colors, caramel, polysorbate 80, BHT, aluminum, sodium metavanadate and sucrose (sugar).
cash Multis like SuperNutrition’s SuperBlend cut costs, combining most essentials. Some HIVer buyers’ clubs offer deals. The biggest: newyorkbuyersclub.org (718.573.8123), houstonbuyersclub.com (800.350.2392) and bostonbuyersclub.com (800.435.5586). State Medicaid and ADAP programs may cover a few supplements (if MD-prescribed); ask about nutrient-loaded food/protein supplements like Resurgex and NutriVir.