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5 Health Supplements Proven to Work

5 Health Supplements Proven to Work


When used in conjunction with antiretrovirals, some supplements are good, some aren't. Here are five with our stamp of approval.

Three of the top four side effects of HIV meds are gastrointestinal, such as chronic diarrhea. That’s because the gut is a major spot for HIV replication, which then diminishes immune cells. But probiotics—essentially live bacteria and yeasts—do more for a good gut than anything else, reducing inflammation and improving CD4-cell counts.

A study in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes found that blue-green algae (also known as spirulina) inhibited HIV replication.

One study found that multivitamins reduced HIV-positive women’s risk of death by 30 percent.

A deficiency in zinc occurs in over half of HIV-positive adults, and studies indicate that zinc delays immunological failure and decreases a nasty side effect, diarrhea.

Vitamin D
Up to 75 percent of the general population is deficient in vitamin D. For people with HIV, vitamin D reduces the risk of osteoporosis, produces proteins that help fight bacteria, reduces inflammation, improves muscle strength, and improves blood sugar control, reducing the risk of diabetes, according to numerous studies.

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