Jan 19, 2007
I read this post on a forum and was just wondering if there is any legitimacy or if its just bs like most stuff out there.
"Here is the gist of story. There is a doctor in Canada by the name of Harold Foster who made some interesting observations about hiv in regard to geography. In areas of the world that have high soil level concentrations of selenium also have extremely low hiv infection rates. He mentions Senegal as a case and point. Senegal lies in area that has very high selenium levels and also have very open sexuality - the hiv infection rate is around 1%. He mentions that many viruses use selenium as a que as to when to reproduce. Hiv is parasitic for selenium in cells, and when it senses selenium is about to be used up, it starts to replicate in search of more selenium. Basically once selenium is used up in a cell, it hunts for another cell and this process goes on until selenium is used up in the body. Selenium is also crucial for the human immune system. Without it, the human immune system collapses. There are a 3 amino acids the human body uses to make a substance called glutathione which work in concert with selenium that is strongly antiviral. He tested his theory in africa recently with almost all recovering after a few weeks. It's been said that a hiv victim in the western world is worth 250,000 dollars to the drug companies. And along with the prejudice against people infected with hiv, it's no wonder this hasn't made the news. Imagine someone being able to go back to work with just supplementing with selenium and a couple amino acids?
Finland is another example of a country that had started using selenium enriched fertilzer in it's soils and also has low hiv infection rates - something like less than 1%. In Finland, selenium has been added to fertilizers since 1984, which has raised the selenium intake of Finns to an adequate level. Neighboring countries that have poor soil selenium have much higher infection rates. So if a person who is hiv - eats a diet that is elevated in selenium, this appears to have a protective effect against hiv infection.
Interestingly, Foster states that several viruses including HIV-1 have evolved the ability to create an even greater selenium deficiency in those they infect. Dr. Will Taylor and his coworkers, for example, have demonstrated that the genetic code of HIV-1 contains a gene that is virtually identical to that needed by humans to produce the selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase. This means that as HIV-1 replicates, it must obtain selenium, a major component of this enzyme, from its host. Since HIV-1 encodes for the whole enzyme, as it becomes more common it depletes its host not only of selenium, but also of the other key core components of glutathione peroxidase, namely the amino acids cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan. As a consequence, HIV positive individuals gradually become more and more deficient in these nutrients. Selenium deficiency causes a depressed CD4T lymphocyte count, a malfunction of the thyroid gland, depression and an increased vulnerability to cancers (including Kaposis sarcoma). Inadequate cysteine is associated with poor wound and skin healing, psoriasis and abnormal immune function. A lack of glutamine is linked to abnormal intestine permeability, diarrhea and muscle wasting. Tryptophan deficiency leads to diarrhea, dementia and death. As the immune system collapses because of such nutritional abnormalities, associated pathogens invade, causing their own unique symptoms and increased risk of death. AIDS, therefore, is a nutritional deficiency illness caused by a virus. Its victims are simply suffering from extreme deficiencies of selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan, which can easily be reversed by better diet and supplements."
Just wondering what your opinion on this is given that your an HIV expert.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Selenium levels in Senegal related to their incidence of HIV/AIDS??? Hmmm . . . . I'd have to file that one in the BS file. There is a world of difference between cause-and-effect relationships and mere associations or observations. Here's an example. I was sitting at a coffee shop the other day and there was a McDonalds across the street. I watched loads of tubby lard-asses waddle in and out. Interestingly, no matter what these chubsters ordered to eat three Big Macs, McNuggets, super-sized fries, fish fillets, etc. they always, always, always ordered Diet Coke to drink. Therefore, by association and direct observation, I could conclude that Diet Coke causes obesity. Right? The fatties ordered different things to eat, but since they all ordered Diet Coke, therefore that must be the cause!
There is no doubt nutrition and trace elements are important to general health and proper immune functioning; however, there is a quantum leap between that and concluding this is either the cause or cure for AIDS.
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