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NAC/Vitamin B12 and other supplements

Apr 21, 1997

Dear Rick, What is your opinion on the following: 1. NAC? I cannot find NAC in the UK. Is is known by any other names/brands? I have read that some doctors are doubthful about its effect? What do you think? 2. I read that Vitamin B12 slows down progression? What do you think? 3. We are considering taking garlic tablets to reduce gut infections. What do you think? 4. Is there any other supplements you would recommend. There are so many supplements now available, that it is difficult to choose what is more important than others. Thank you for your help. You are such a source of comfort and sincere help to so many, I pray that God will reward you many times over. Paul

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Paul. Thank you for your question. Experimental therapies like NAC (N-acetyl-L-cysteine), and non-traditional therapies such as Vitamin Therapy, Garlic Therapy etc., are becoming more popular when it comes to treatment of HIV and other chronic diseases. It is hard for me to keep up with the many experimental and alternative therapies such as this. This is because many of them have not undergone clinical trials to see how safe and effective they really are. NAC has undergone some clinical trials with mixed results, and further studies are necessary to determine whether NAC is beneficial or not in persons with HIV infection.

In regards to nutrition and vitamin intake, it's important to maintain, at the very least, the general recommended intake of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and so forth. If you have a chronic disease such as AIDS or cancer, your nutrient needs usually increase. However, you need to be careful since taking megadoses of some of these nutrients can be more harmful than helpful. There is no simple answer to your questions, since many treatments such as these are not proven. Just be weary of therapies touted as being cures, miracle treatments, or those that will treat many different unrelated medical problems. Also be weary of anecdotal reports of benefits of therapies. If they have not undergone some type of clinical trial, they may not be as helpful as some people claim them to be.

It's very hard for me to keep up-to-date on non-traditional therapies, nutritional supplements, and how safe and effective they may be. Let me suggest the following resources that may have the information that you are looking for.

The Body's Alternative Therapies Page

cost of drugs
Duration of HIV and treaments

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