Vitamin D Supplementation Boosts Immune Recovery in HIV Patients
RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil — A new study has shown vitamin D’s effectiveness when used as a supplement in the immune recovery of HIV patients.
Because HIV infection and the common antiretroviral treatment can result in a vitamin D insufficiency, including alterations of vitamin D metabolism, researchers studied the impact supplementation of the vitamin had on patients.
The findings were published in the August edition of the Nutrition Journal.
Researchers compared demographic and clinical parameters in 97 patients between vitamin D sufficient and insufficient HIV-infected adults, and then assessed the changes among insufficient participants following standardized vitamin D supplementation.
The study began with a five-week supplementation of vitamin D3 50,000 IU twice a week, then 8000 IU twice weekly to complete 24 weeks of supplementation.
Dr. Althea Fleming, ND, of Vital Aging Clinic in Anacortes, Wash. said “Vitamin D has been well established as a contributor to healthy immune function, lymphocytes, our second most common white blood cell, require vitamin D for synthesis.
“A clinical insufficiency of vitamin D would directly impact immune function and has been shown to be correlated with many diseases,” Fleming said. “It’s logical to supplement vitamin D with patients who need a treatment regime that depletes vitamin D to ensure maintaining normal levels between 30 – 100 ng/ml.”
Whereas otherwise healthy patients may be to get daily sun exposure, as well as to eat foods high in vitamin D such mushrooms, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, and fortified foods like most dairy products, she said.