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WORRIED PATIENT: BANLEC AND HIV
Jan 3, 2012

HI, HAPPY NEW YEAR DOCTOR,

PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE WHICH STATES THE EFFECT OF A BANANA LECTIN TO PREVENT HIV TRANSMISSION BY BLOCKING GP120.

http://www.jbc.org/content/285/12/8646.full.pdf+html

CAN THE SAME MOLECULE INCREASE CD4 COUNT IN HIV POSITIVE INDIVIDUALS INHIBITING ENTRY OF NEW VIRUS INTO UNINFECTED CD4+ T CELLS BLOCKING GP120?

WHAT ABOUT THE CLINICAL TRIAL FOR THIS MOLECULE AND CAN EATING LOTS OF BANANAS INCREASE CD4 COUNT?

AND WHAT ABOUT GINSENG? DOES IT INTERFERE WITH HAART?

WORRIED PATIENT.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.....

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for the article.

The study reported that in the test tube, this product of the banana can block HIV attaching to the t cell. They want to use it as a microbicide, which means it would be applied in a gel to the vaginal lining (or possible the rectal lining) to block HIV from entering the cells there. It is a topical therapy, that is applied to the surface. This protein or lectin would not be floating freely in the blood to attach to HIV in the circulation. If we swallowed it it gets digested in our stomach and GI tract, so it is not available in complete form just loose in the blood. There is another complex protein that we use as an injection to block HIV (enfuvirtide or T20), but it is cumbersome to give and caused injection reactions. It is not clear how much of the banana lectin would have to be injected and how long it would persist in the blood. I do not think that there are plans to use it that way and you would not be able to eat it and have it work.

Happy New Year to you too!

Joe



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