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Mama Mia Please Don't Eat the Garlic (Supplements)

By David Scondras

February 2002

Probably the little garlic that is in food is not important, but taking large amounts of it in the form of supplements should only be done with a lot of caution and the following information.

A study was done and reported upon by the HIV treatment editor John James in AIDS Treatment News, December 21, 2001, Issue # 375, showing people who took a lot of garlic supplements, equivalent to two 4 gram cloves per day, for twenty one days, who were also taking saquinavir had their blood levels of the protease inhibitor reduced by half.

This is serious.

Although the study did not reveal how this happens or whether or not other protease inhibitors are affected, it makes sense to be safe rather than sorry, and to keep away from large quantities of garlic until we find out how garlic affects the other drugs that fight HIV.

We applaud the NIH for doing this important study and wonder why drug companies are not required to continue testing their drug to see if foods and supplements that many people take affect their drug's performance.

The FDA should require such tests before licensing a drug. Patients cannot and should not be expected to figure these complicated kinds of interaction out by themselves!

David Scondras is the founder and chairman of Search For A Cure. Scondras developed the nationally recognized HIV treatment series, Reasons for Hope. All articles in the series are reviewed by expert HIV doctors and scientists and an HIV positive and negative focus group to ensure both accuracy and understandability.

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