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Healthy Diet?
Nov 1, 2006

Hi Dr. Young,

I have a question about an issue that a lot of folks seem to dismiss as being unimportant. I am wondering how important you think it is that folks infected with HIV eat a very healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar, salt, and saturated and trans fats. I know that a healthy diet won't raise the CD4 levels in the body, but does a healthy diet substantially offset the potential toxicities of HIV meds? I have a friend who dismisses diet as being of any importance in her fight with HIV. I try to tell her otherwise, but I have no factual basis for telling her so. It just makes sense to me that eating lots of fruits and vegetables would be beneficial to her health in the long run and help her offset some of the increased risks of heart disease and cancer that come with HIV infection. Am I right? TBy the way, thanks for your wonderful wisdom and support. Many virally enhanced folks would probably be in a very different position if it were not for the compassion of their HIV docs.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and comments.

I'm one that suscribes to the general idea that nutrition alone won't be of significant and specific benefit to those who are HIV infected.

That's not to say that all of us, HIV+ or HIV- probably wouldn't benefit from a careful assessment of our diet- Americans' diet are notoriously too rich in calories, fat, processed sugars, etc.

I'm not sure that diet will significantly alter one's risk of developing complications from either HIV or HIV therapies, in constrast to your hypothesis (though I'd welcome any well controlled scientific data to the contrary).

I hope this helps; here's to good health and even better food. BY



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