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Herbs and Medicines
Nov 27, 2000

I am HIV positive and on Sustiva, Epivir, Zerit, and Ziagen. I have a T-cell count of 1008 and a viral load of 337 that has remained relatively stable over the last several months (about 5 months now). I did a lot of research on various supplements that may provide some benefit to me...such as NAC, a multivitamin (taken twice a day with Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta ceratene, Twin Labs), a separate supplement of magnesium, and L-Carnitine. My concern is with the other supplements I bought.

1) Milk Thistle...I heard it can help protect the liver from all the synthetic medicines and vitamins I take...and Garlic...I heard it can help the immune system. Now I read a recent article from the Project inform Perspective date August 2000 that says both have reported effects on the p450 enzymes that also process protease inhibitors and most NNRTIs. It says this may or may not increase the side effects of my medicines. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? If I am healthy right now...should I stay away from them? I was only trying to be proactive and protect my liver by taking precautionary measures.


Response from Dr. Dieterich

Your liver protects itself better than any herb can do it. Less is more when it comes to putting chemicals into your body whether they are natural or not. The liver is a very resilient organ and as long as you eat well and do not abuse alcohol, it well be fine! Good luck! DTD

Sustiva and L-Glutamine
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