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5 Essential Vitamins and Supplements

The Importance of HIV Nutrition


Updated June 06, 2008

Part of any HIV treatment program should be an emphasis on HIV nutrition. Part of that HIV nutrition should be vitamins and supplements. Essential vitamins and nutrition supplements will help you stay healthy. Here are 5 vitamins and supplements needed by people infected with HIV.

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1. Multivitamins

Choosing a multivitamin is best. Brand isn't important it's what's inside that counts. Unless you are a menstruating or pregnant female, or a person with diagnosed iron deficiency, chose an iron-free form. Follow the directions on the package.
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2. Minerals

As with vitamins, minerals are essential to staying healthy. Follow the directions when taking. Before starting any mineral supplements talk to your doctor or nutritionist.
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3. Antioxidants

Rather than take additional individual antioxidants, look for a combination supplements that contain a variety including vitamin E, vitamin C,and selenium.
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4. Vitamin B-12

Studies show that levels of B12 in body fluids are not indicative of tissue stores, and suggest that 10 to 50 percent of HIV-positive individuals are B12 and folate deficient. Deficiency can lead to neuropathy, fatigue, depression, anemia, and rashes. Studies suggest that B12 can inhibit HIV infection in monocytes and lymphocytes.
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5. Carnitine

This helps prevent wasting, aids in fatty acid oxidation (may have slight effect in lowering serum triglyceride levels), and helps prevent CD4 and CD8 cell death. Recommended dosage is 2,000 mg daily.
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