Oct 22, 2001
Are there any specific vitimins or minerals one with HIV should stay away from?
Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner
I guess the best way to answer this is to say that vitamins and minerals as supplements don't really fit neatly into a "good" or "bad" category. One man's vitamin requirements can be man's toxic dose. We do know a bit about toxic doses outside of HIV disease. For instance, vitamin A in the retinol form can be toxic to the liver if taken in high doses. Both a deficiency and an excess of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can cause neuropathy. Excessive vitamin E can cause diarrhea and "bleeding" which usually shows up by easily bruising. Excessive glutamine is associated with liver toxicity. Excessive selenium intake is immunotoxic.
Some vitamins and minerals can interfere or change drug action. This is an area that is less well explored.
And some vitamins and minerals compete against each other!
There are a lot of pills out there and you can get help that is specific for you. If you are already taking supplements, bring the bottles (or a copy of the labels) to a dietitian with some experience in this to add them all up and see where you are.
If you want to have a reference guide to help with your decisions at your fingertips, I would recommend The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements by Allison Sarubin. Both health professionals and you may find it a good starting point!
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