Treatment News : Multivitamins: More Not Better When HIV Meds are Being Used

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October 19, 2012

Multivitamins: More Not Better When HIV Meds are Being Used

More is not better when it comes to multivitamins combined with antiretroviral therapy, according to new data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 

The results come from a Tanzanian study involving nearly 3,500 HIV-positive people starting antiretroviral therapy for the first time who were randomized to take either recommended daily allowance (standard-dose) multivitamins or high-dose multivitamins containing substantially higher concentrations of vitamins B, C and E.

Study volunteers receiving high-dose multivitamins were no less likely to progress to AIDS or die from any cause; CD4 cell gains and rates of undetectable viral loads were also no more pronounced among those receiving high-dose multivitamins. In fact, there was some evidence that severely malnourished individuals were more likely to die if they were receiving high-dose multivitamins. Levels of liver enzymes were also more likely to become seriously elevated among those receiving high-dose multivitamins, compared with standard-dose multivitamins, a finding that prompted the researchers to discontinue the study prematurely.  

Though previous studies concluded that high-dose multivitamins may help slow HIV disease progression and appeared safe among individuals unable to secure access to antiretroviral therapy, the researchers conclude that these new results underscore the need for adherence to standard-dose multivitamin recommendations when antiretroviral therapy is being used.

To read the JAMA report (paid subscription required), click here.

Search: multivitamin, tanzania, liver, alt, mortality, cd4 cells, viral load, jama


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  comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)    

George M Carter, Brooklyn, NY, 2012-10-24 17:12:20
A number of issues about "more" not being better. While the study referred to "high dose," many might call what was offered in that arm to be "subtherapeutic." Also, there were no minerals. The finding of liver elevation is a problem but they also saw reduced neuropathy. This is a poor review and 500 characters is not enough.

Chuck E, Dunwoody, 2012-10-24 16:05:22
I've been + now for about 23 years, and am ahppy to say that I was told recently by my consultant at the Atlanta VA, whose primary job is at the CDC, that y viral load is currently undetectable at less than 20. The only drug that I've beeen taking since its' release has been Atripla. In all these years I've never ahd any opportunistic infections, even from hte days before Atripla. It really feels like a final soluiton might be in the offing. The Atl. VAQ Inf Dis clinic is about the best there is

Bernie T, London UK, 2012-10-24 14:05:42
What a load of rubbish, who pays for this "Research" no doubt the Drug Companies that have a vested interest in keeping people on toxic drugs. What it shows is Vitamins Really work and the ARVs are not really good for you. We stay on them, however one day Vitamins may hold some of the answers for stooping ARV's.

Jack, San Diego, 2012-10-24 13:19:58
As a follow-up to this article, it would be helpful to know what 'standard dose multi-vitamins" are--what levels of what vitamins are recommended or standard. Also, if there are herbal meds that are also dangerous or need to be considered. Thanks!

Greg H., Davenport, FL, 2012-10-24 11:55:32
It seems the more I read, the more I realize that the "experts" don't know anything. It's kind of like, avoid eggs, eggs are bad for you, fast forward a decade and it's eat eggs, eggs are good for you. Perhaps we should just listen to our own bodies, and treat accordingly.

comments 1 - 5 (of 5 total)    


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