"Daily Vit. Can Thwart AIDS Progress" - NY Times
#100715 - 07/02/04 06:47 PM
Here the mainstream proves itself wrong yet again, but ignores the obvious implications of its own research in the following article, "Daily Vitamin Can Thwart AIDS Progress" - NY Times, July 1, 2004.
If a vitamin can prevent illness, then what's the value of AZT? They state that vitamins stop AIDS progression by supporting the body's own immune
system, which can fight the virus on its own.
Supporting the immune system? What a novel idea.
They're sure to say though, that the vitamins were "no cure" and about a quarter of the poor, rural women in the study either died of or developed
AIDS. They didn't say which. Or what they meant by "developed AIDS." I thinkit would be worth knowing specifically what they meant, and the
conditions of the study, if anyone cares to dig it up.
Daily Vitamin Can Thwart AIDS Progress
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Published: July 1, 2004
A simple daily vitamin pill can delay the progress of AIDS in H.I.V.-infected women, an eight-year study by Harvard researchers has found.
Vitamins are by no means a cure or a substitute for antiretroviral therapy,the researchers said. But for malnourished women in Africa or Asia with
little hope of getting better drugs, vitamins are a cheap, safe way of giving them extra months of life and a little less misery before they die,
the study, which is being published today in The New England Journal of Medicine, suggested.
"The study is important for developing countries, especially for pregnant and postpartum women, who are a nutritionally vulnerable group," said
Dr.Lynne Mofenson, chief of the pediatric and maternal AIDS branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the
National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Richard G. Marlink, who helps run treatment programs in six African countries as director of the Harvard AIDS Institute and scientific adviser
to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, said the study would prompt him to recommend vitamins for his patients.
"This is exciting because it costs literally pennies and can ward off the time when you need to begin treatment with expensive and toxic drugs," he said.
The study, run by the Harvard School of Public Health and the medical school of Muhimbili University in Tanzania, followed 1,078 women in Dar es Salaam
between 1995 and 2003. The women were recruited when they were pregnant.
They had no access to anti-AIDS cocktails, so H.I.V. infection meant a sentence of eventual death from tuberculosis, meningitis, pneumonia, Kaposi's sarcoma or other opportunistic infections.
About six million people in poor countries are already sick enough to need antiretroviral drugs, the World Health Organization estimates, and another
25 million or more will need them soon. Only about 400,000 are getting them.
Efforts to increase that number have gone slowly because of high drug prices, fights over patents, a lack of money from donors, reluctance by
African leaders to admit that their nations have epidemics and the inability of shattered health care systems to muster enough doctors, nurses and
laboratories to safely deliver the drugs.
Vitamins costing less than $15 a year might prolong the lives of people waiting for rescue, the study concluded. The supplements do not attack
the virus, but enhance the body's own immune system, allowing it to do so.
The vitamins were specially made for the study "but are quite easy to mass-produce," said its lead author, Wafaie W. Fawzi, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard. They contained about three times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E and 6 to 10 times the allowance of C and B-complex vitamins.
The supplements are not the first stopgap therapy proposed for the poor. In 2000, the World Health Organization advised that AIDS patients who were
not on antiretrovirals get regular doses of cotrimoxazole, an antibiotic better known as Bactrim. That drug, which cost only about $8 a year in generic
form, warded off secondary infections, which are often fatal. Largely because of the cost and the disorganization of African health care systems,
that recommendation has not been widely adopted.
The Tanzania study found that 30 percent fewer of the women who received the multivitamins died or progressed to full AIDS during the study than a
group of women receiving a placebo. The counts of CD-4 cells, the immune system cells that the virus attacks, stayed somewhat higher in the group that
took multivitamins. That group also had fewer incidents of thrush, throat ulcers,inflamed gums, nausea, rashes, fatigue and other debilitating side
Nonetheless, vitamins were no cure. About a quarter of the women who received them still died or reached full AIDS during the study, and without
antiretroviral treatment, virtually all can be expected to die in the next few years.
The study had to be changed twice in midstream for ethical reasons, Dr.Fawzi said.
Vitamin A was dropped from the supplements because researchers found evidence that it increased the risk that mothers would pass the infection to
Also, when the authors had early evidence that multivitamins prevented fetal death and premature births, they put all the women in the study on
multivitamins until they delivered. After that, the mothers went back on their previous regimens, without doctors or patients knowing whether
they were on a placebo.
The study confirms what researchers have suspected since the epidemic's early days, Dr. Marlink said.
Many AIDS researchers noticed that vitamin-deficient patients sickened faster than well-fed ones, he said, but Americans who were malnourished usually had other problems, like drug and alcohol abuse, that made it
hard to blame poor nutrition for their rapid declines.
Three years ago, Dr. Andrew Tomkins of the Institute for Child Health in London gave multivitamins or placebos to 481 H.I.V.-infected men and
women in Thailand. Although Dr. Tomkins followed the patients for less than a year, the group taking vitamins had "significantly" lower mortality,
especially among those whose immune systems were weakest, he said.
Dr. Tomkins called Dr. Fawzi's study "particularly important" because many people are not yet in treatment despite the efforts of the Global Fund
for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and "it's going to be a long time before everybody is," he said.
The women studied were poor but urban. Their diet was "not very rich, but not suboptimal," he said, adding that rural women probably ate less well.
But those who benefited from vitamins did so "regardless of whether they were undernourished or not," Dr. Fawzi said.
You need some help in reading comprehension!!!!!!!!!
Lots of people I know only took vitiamins and juiced and excercized and stayed happy. This was in 1993 BEFORE combination therapy was available. THEY ALL DIED!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST like the people who took ONLY one drug!
READ the article again!!!!!!!!
About a quarter of the women who received them still died or reached full AIDS during the study, and without
antiretroviral treatment, virtually all can be expected to die in the next few years"
The point of the article is that you can BUY some time with vitamins! THAT vitamins can help! But you really need treatment AS WELL!
Consider this; -
Here's a table for you -- the mortality rate among HIV positive kids in NY,
not diagnosed as "AIDS patients" (read - no drugs) is FOUR Percent.
That is, 96 percent of kids in NY who test HIV pos, but who aren't routinely drugged (by inference as not being labeled "AIDS") are alive and well.
The AIDS group suffers a 60 percent mortality - high, but not 100%, which is what we're told. What would it be minus the AIDS drugs?
NYC HIV/AIDS Statistics Through 2003:
Note that NYC backdates AIDS deaths to 1976, eight years before the HIV test was produced.
Note that the percentage of deaths among AIDS patients (those taking the drugs) is Sixty percent. High, but not 100%.
Note that the percentage of death among HIV positive children (who are not considered AIDS patients) - is Four Percent.
That is -- 96% of all HIV pos. kids in NYC considered HIV pos from 1976(!) onward -- lived. (HIV positive kids are kids who tested pos, but who were not considered AIDS patients, for any number of reasons - background, their particular doctor, etc. As a result of not being considered AIDS patients,they would have been spared the AIDS drugs.)
Note that NYC listed 5 pediatric AIDS deaths (under 13 years old) in 2002.There were at least three alone, possibly four, at ICC.
-- OF important note - when I contacted the NYC coroner's office, I was told that the office doesn't list "AIDS" or "HIV" as a cause of Death in
children - instead they call it "natural causes."
- NY coroner 212 447 2030
Note - minorities constitute the largest number of cases (cumulatively
since beginning of HIV, whenever they say that was) --
Black HIV - 888 - 59%
Hispanic HIV -488 - 32%
White HIV - 81 - 5%
Black AIDS - 1,243 - 57%
Hispanic AIDS - 764 - 35%
White AIDS - 152- 7%
Survivial Status (in 20 plus years) for HIV pos: Dead - 53 (4%) Alive - 1,446 (96%)
Survival Status for AIDS (HIV plus AIDS drugs) Dead: 1,294 (60%) Alive - 878 (40%)
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