Key vitamins and minerals for HIV

This section deals with some vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that have been studied in HIV. You will also find information in“The big chart of vitamins and minerals” on the previous page. Before beginning to take any of these supplements, be sure to discuss it with your doctor and other members of your healthcare team. Several studies have shown that vitamin and mineral supplements can have many benefits in people living with HIV. Taking a multivitamin every day is an important part of a nutritional health plan. Checkout for a list of studies looking at the affect of micronutrient supplements in people with HIV/AIDS. B Vitamins may help slow disease progression in people with HIV.

They are also important for healthy mitochondria, the power-producing structures in cells, and may help decrease the impact of mitochondrial toxicity. B vitamins are depleted quickly in times of stress, fever or infection, as well as with high consumption of alcohol. Keep in mind that the RDA is very low and taking a total of 50 mg of B1, B2 and B3 will more than coverB-vitamin needs. Check the multivitamin you take; if it has 30 to 50 mg of these vitamins, you don’t have to take a B-complex supplement in addition to the multivitamin. Levels of vitamin B12 in the blood may be low in people with HIV.

It can also be low in people over the age of 50 years. B12 deficiency is associated with an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy, decreased ability to think clearly, and a form of anemia. People with low B12 levels usually feel extremely tired and have low energy. This deficiency is also linked with HIV disease progression and death. Ask your doctor to check your blood levels. If they’re low, ask about B12 injections to get them back into the ideal range.If you get B12 shots and your vision is getting worse, mention it to your doctor, especially if you are a smoker. Some forms of injectable B12 can damage your eyes if you have a rare genetic condition called Leber’s hereditary optic atrophy.

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