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Nutrition, supplements, and HIV
May 24, 2007

Hi There

I have recently been diagnosed cd4 225 and vl 5225. My second cd4 is 324 andf vl not in yet! Assuming from this I will not be on eds as the UK guideleines are dc4 200 for meds I want to know the things I need to be doing to help protect and boost my by immune system.

I know I should be tring to increase my muscle mass - so have joined the gym - what should I be eating and at what intervals etc.

Also whay supplements can I take to help with supporting my immune system. I have read a lot but am very confused by all the conflicting information and lack of information on herbal supplelments etc.

Please help.

JJ

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello, and thanks for posting.

I am confused as well with what supplements to take to support my immune system as well. Just when I find an herbal supplement which produces robust immune system boosting, I learn of another which is even more potent, purer, and with super-optimal immune-enhancing properties. But since I really don't know if any of them really have any benefit whatsoever, it seems reasonable to skip the herbs until we do know. A multivitamin would be a good idea and there is very little downside to this strategy.

Your CD4+ lymphocyte count is in the range when initiation of antiretroviral therapy is reasonable and you should discuss this with your doctor (I assume the guidelines do allow for deviation and free will).

In terms of nutrition, it makes sense to eat food at different intervals throughout the day depending on your preferences and schedule. You should strive to consume a well-balanced, healthful diet (do minimize consumption of potato chips with French onion dip at all costs)

Other strategies to preserve your immune system include: engaging in regular vigorous exercise, avoiding excessive alcohol intake, avoiding drugs of abuse, staying far away from cigarettes and smokers, getting enough sleep, and avoiding overly stressful and toxic environments.

The good news is that when you do commence a regimen, the newer agents are getting better and have fewer side effects. So HIV has truly become a long-term manageable disease. Good luck!



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