December #54 : Days of Wine and Doses - by Lark Lands

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Table of Contents

The AIDS Decade: The 99 Greatest Moments of the '90s

Inside Agitator

Happy Holidays?

It's 10 O'Clock. Do You Know Where Your Meds Are?

Publisher's Letter

Mailbox-December 1999

Your Money or Your Life

Mass Appeal


Parallel Universe


Syph 'N' Spin

Hot Copy

Attention, Shoppers

Where Did HIV Come From?

The Spirit of St. Louis

Splendor in the Pines

Keeping the Faith


Tenement Dreams

10,000 Hemophiliacs

Just Eat It

Food Fight

The Hit List

Compound Interest

When to Treat Hep C?

Hep Help Hurray!

The Scoop on Poop

Could You Have HAD?

Shelf Life

Vintage Gallo

Days of Wine and Doses

Less Is More

Cutting Corners

A Day Without

Catching Up With

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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December 1999

Days of Wine and Doses

by Lark Lands

A toast to your health! But red wine only, please. That’s because it, along with grape skins and parts of certain other plants, contains resveratrol, a compound previously reported to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic (artery changes that can lead to heart disease) effects. Now Alonzo Heredia, PhD, of Baltimore’s Institute of Human Virology, reports that resveratrol not only blocks cellular enzymes used by HIV to reproduce, but also boosts production of other enzymes needed to activate certain nukes, possibly allowing for lower, less toxic doses.

In the test tube, resveratrol greatly enhanced the antiviral effects of both ddI  and (to a lesser extent) AZT. Both combos almost completely stopped HIV’s reproduction in both active and resting white blood cells—especially good news given that the latter are major viral reservoirs untouched by current drugs. And the heavily pretreated will be interested to know that resveratrol also made nukes effective again against drug-resistant viral strains. And when the resveratrol/nuke combos were removed from cell cultures, there was no virus rebound even after two weeks—a hopeful sign for less-than-daily therapy.

One thing the discovery-busy Heredia has yet to figure out is exactly what dose might work in people. The worry is that the dose that produces anti-HIV effects might be toxic. Phase I trials are beginning, so wait for those results before raiding your local vineyard or rushing to the health food store.

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