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Protease Supplements?
Dec 16, 2010

I'm on Atripla which I believe contains a protease-inhibitor. You can imagine my consternation when I read the entire ingredient label of a supplement I've been taking for 2 years (I did check when I started to make sure there wasn't any St. John's Wort) .... in a little subcolumn theer it was "protease" 200 mg ....... Now protease is an unavoidable amino acid (in animal/fish protein), right? So is a protease supplement good or bad for HIV+ people. This question nags me. Thanks Mr. V, you're my nutritional guru!

Response from Mr. Vergel

The Protease product you are taking is an enzyme that the body uses to digest proteins.

Atripla has a non nucleoside and two nucleosides, no protease inhibitors.

From Wikipedia:

Proteases are used throughout an organism for various metabolic processes. There are different types. Acid proteases secreted into the stomach (such as pepsin) and serine proteases present in duodenum (trypsin and chymotrypsin) enable us to digest the protein in food; proteases present in blood serum (thrombin, plasmin, Hageman factor, etc.) play important role in blood-clotting, as well as lysis of the clots, and the correct action of the immune system. Other proteases are present in leukocytes (elastase, cathepsin G) and play several different roles in metabolic control. Proteases determine the lifetime of other proteins playing important physiological role like hormones, antibodies, or other enzymes -- this is one of the fastest "switching on" and "switching off" regulatory mechanisms in the physiology of an organism. By complex cooperative action the proteases may proceed as cascade reactions, which result in rapid and efficient amplification of an organism's response to a physiological signal.

Protease inhibitors "inhibit" the last step in the life cycle of HIV or Hepatitis C after these viruses infect cells to them use it as a factory of hundreds or thousands of new virons that form with the help of a protease enzyme (non digestive). Taking a protease enzyme supplement does not have any effect on this effect since we are taking about completely different types of protease enzymes.

Nelson



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