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Manganese blocking HIV
Apr 29, 2002

I just read today in The Body Metal Manganese blocks HIV replication. If I take Manganese from the health store will it have any effect fighting HIV?

Thank you

Response from Dr. Cohen

I wish we knew.

As promising as the article was, it does not mean that taking supplemental manganese will work. There have been many such initial leads in the past - showing something which worked well in a test tube, but didn't work for people. Why not? Well, the body is a complex place. First - we don't know how much manganese you'd have to take to get an increase in the level to do something. Second, the manganese has to be absorbed and then get to the right place. And not stimulate some other mechanism that our body may have to pump out excess manganese. Since it is likely that there could be manganese toxicity as well. And once absorbed it must get to the right place to accomplish this effect - and that may not turn out the way it happened in test tubes. Sadly, these barriers to easy identification and use have been ongoing for many years - since there have been several supplements and substances that looked great in a test tube, but didn't work in us. Our group worked on one a few years ago called curcumin. In test tubes, it looked great and easy and effective. And was already available as a supplement. But in people, at reasonably high doses, nothing happened to the people who took it in terms of viral load drops. It is hoped that someone will do the research needed to see if this lead can turn into a promising approach that controls HIV.

Sadly, so far it has never been as simple as just taking some amount of something that worked in a test tube and we have instant success... Now, could this be the first one to turn out that way? Could be. Anything could be the first thing... but more likely not. So stay tuned - it is likely some will pick up on this lead and see what happens.



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