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Sugar Cane Drink Shows Promise in Reducing Drug Toxicity

Sugar Cane Drink Shows Promise in Reducing Drug Toxicity


German researchers are suggesting an unusual method to reduce antiretroviral-related mitochondrial toxicity'a drink made from sugar cane. A letter by the researchers in the April 30 issue of the journal AIDS details a case study of a 54-year-old man who experienced stomach pain and the development of fat deposits in his liver while taking an anti-HIV drug cocktail containing the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor d4T. Creatine, lactate, and liver function tests were abnormal, and researchers identified d4T-related mitochondrial toxicity as the likely cause of the problems. After drinking three liquid supplements daily containing a 36-gram sachet of the sugar cane product NucleomaxX (mitocnol) for two weeks, the man's liver- and muscle-enzyme levels improved and stomach pains ceased. After seven weeks, lactate levels normalized and ultrasound tests showed improvements in liver fat deposits. The researchers call for clinical studies to back up their findings, but recommend in the meantime that life-threatening NRTI-related mitochondrial toxicity can be abated by the sugar cane supplement.

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