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Which supplements are not advisable
Dec 11, 2013

I am not on Meds, and have been positive for 24 years. Are there any supplements that you would not advise me to take, because they increase viral load, or reduce CD4 count?

Response from Mr. Vergel

These are supplements/foods that have been shown to inhibit cytochrome P 450, an enzyme responsible for clearance of compounds in the liver. Inhibiting this enzyme can increase blood levels of medications which can increase medication induced side effects:

- St John's Wort - Grapefruit - Garlic concentrates (regular garlic we use in food is OK) - Licorice - Milk Thistle

This one accelerates metabolism (induces P450)which can lower blood levels of medications and induce failure (and thus, increase HIV viral load):

- Gingko Biloba

It is very important that you talk to your pharmacist if you are taking supplements. Unlike doctors, pharmacists know a lot about pharmacology and have access to great data bases for interactions. Every time we take a supplement that we do not research properly we are taking a risk.

In health,


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