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Another Reason You Should Take Vitamin D

Another Reason You Should Take Vitamin D

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Adding a vitamin supplement may block or reduce HIV in blood.

A study from Pennsylvania State University and South African researchers on vitamin D levels in Cape Town, South Africa, residents showed promising results in blocking or reducing HIV in the blood, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The study, published in the National Academy of Science, was tested vitamin levels of different skin types at different times of the year. Researchers decided to include an additional variable of HIV when examining vitamin D levels, as they had been studying the effects of vitamin D on HIV and tuberculosis. They wanted to see if vitamin D could improve HIV resistance. The answer is yes.

Using blood samples of those with the highest vitamin D deficiency (taken during the winter months), researchers combined blood cells and blood serum that contained vitamin D in the lab. Then, all the samples were infected with HIV. After six weeks, HIV infection had been blocked or reduced in the samples.

"HIV is a bloodborne virus," said the paper's lead author and disease immunologist Anna Coussens. "The fact is we could reverse the effect through supplementation."

 Don't ditch your antiretrovirals for vitamin D, though. Coussens noted though that more research would need to be done, including a "proper, controlled randomized study" to see what real-world effects the supplement has on those with HIV. But this is the latest study to show that vitamin D has a positive effect on those who are already HIV-positive, so feel free to stock up. Hey, every little bit helps, right?

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