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A Future for Saint-John's-wort Against HIV?

A Future for Saint-John's-wort Against HIV?


A key protein in the herbal supplement Saint-John's-wort has been shown to inhibit HIV replication, but researchers at Temple University are warning HIVers against taking the supplement without consulting their physicians. The scientists discovered a protein in Saint-John's-wort (p27SJ) that inhibits HIV gene expression and shuts down viral replication in infected cells. But the researchers wrote in the journal Gene Therapy that because 'we don't yet know how to deliver the protein to cells infected with HIV' or even whether standard doses of Saint-John's-wort contain therapeutic levels of the protein, HIVers shouldn't rush out to stock up on supplies of the supplement. Patients taking antiretrovirals in the nonnucleoside analog and protease inhibitor classes are strongly advised to completely avoid Saint-John's-wort, since it has been shown to interfere with metabolization of the medications.

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