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Dietary Supplement Could Reverse HIV-Related Organ Damage

Dietary Supplement Could Reverse HIV-Related Organ Damage

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Image by Diva Plavalaguna via Pexels

Researchers tested MitoQ on HIV-positive mice with encouraging results.

MitoQ, a public mitochondrial antioxidant, showed signs of reversing the detrimental effects HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART) have on mitochondria in the brain, heart, aorta, lungs, kidney, and liver.

According to Medical Xpress, researchers used mice to measure the ratio of human and murine mitochondrial (mtDNA) to nuclear DNA (ntDNA). They found that, compared to uninfected mice, HIV-positive mice treated with ART had mitochondrial dysfunction in the human cells of the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and gut.

However, when treated with MitoQ for 90 days, the HIV-positive mice had reduced mitochondria dysfunction in their organs as compared to the mice on ART.

The full study, published in theJournal of Infectious Diseases, used humanized mice, meaning they have human immune cells that can be infected with HIV. Researchers then infected the mice with the virus and treated them with ART, then fed them MitoQ through their drinking water. The control mice were not given MitoQ.

“MitoQ is a diet supplement that is known to be safe in humans and is readily available for us,” said senior author Dr. Theodoros Kelesidis, associate professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Our findings support clinical trials of MitoQ in people with HIV who take antiretrovirals to determine whether it can be a potential treatment for comorbidities associated with chronic HIV infection. Until then people with HIV should not take this diet supplement for treatment of any conditions associated with HIV infection.”

The preclinical findings in the mice, although they do not exactly recreate the virus as humans do, could serve as the foundation for future clinical trials in humans with HIV.

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