Jun 5, 2003
I am currently taking a probiotic (Pimal Defense) Among other things it claims to raise protease levels in the blood. Is this a problem?
Response from Dr. Wohl
Primal Defense is mostly lactobacillus species with different green grass juices and some other foods (wheat, soy) thrown in. I do not know if these change HIV medication levels.
The protease enzyme that protease inhibitors work on are made by the virus. Looking at what I can find about the ingredients in Primal Defense, I can not see how it would impact a viral enzyme.
My general advice to patients taking nutraceuticals and herbal componds is that for the vast majority it is unclear if there are interactions with HIV meds and therefore they should be avoided. IF these alternative therapies are used, it is important to check that they are not one of the few that have been found to alter HIV drug levels (e.g. St Johns Wort) and weigh the risks vs the benefits of these compounds.
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