Vitamin D is emerging as a very important nutrient, with more diverse functions than just its traditional role in calcium metabolism. Mounting evidence suggests that 1,000 IU per day should be the recommended daily intake.Vitamin D is found in some foods, but these sources generally do not provide enough vitamin D on a daily basis. Also, people who live in northern climates (like Canada) probably do not get enough sun exposure to make adequate vitamin D. And the use of sunscreen, which is highly recommended to prevent skin cancer, blocks the skin’s ability to make vitamin D. For people with HIV, vitamin D supplements are a sure way to get the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin D is found in multivitamins and calcium supplements as well as individual vitamin D pills. Look for vitamin D3; it is the active form of the vitamin. Be sure to add up all the vitamin D from different supplements to be sure you are not getting too much.
Vitamin E has been used as an antioxidant, typically at doses of 400 IU per day. However, studies have found that people who take more than 200 IU per day may be at higher risk of developing heart disease. Until this is fully studied, it may be a good idea to reduce vitamin E supplements to 200 IU unless your doctor suggests you take more. Vitamin E deficiency is associated with faster HIV disease progression. People with poor fat absorption or malnutrition are more at risk of being deficient in vitamin E. Use supplements from natural sources and those with “mixed tocopherols” for better effect.
Getting started :-Take a multivitamin-mineral once a day.
Multiplying the benefits of multivitamins
- Get some advice from a health professional with knowledge about supplements for people with HIV.
- Protect your bones by getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Boost your antioxidant defense system with vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium.
- Keep doses below the Upper Tolerable Limit.