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Monday, December 01, 2008

A Different Approach Needed for AIDS

Today is World AIDS Day.

This issue is a very highly charged political issue whether you accept it or not. It is also one that raises hair on the necks of very fundamental religions who hold extreme and hateful views about who becomes afflicted with this "plague".

Whether or not you approve of sex in what ever form it takes, accepted or illicit, the rule remains that government can't legislate social behaviors. Educational programs also make very slow ingress in changing risky behavior because the human sex drive is fundamental; we are all sexual beings.

In all the years so much money has been thrown at HIV/AIDS so little seems to address prevention, and so little seems to address things outside of the anti-retroviral drugs. Attempts to develop vaccines fail, and to us this is no surprise because the germ theory is truly vacuous.

Anti-retroviral drugs have problems. They have side effects and they are very costly. They don't always reach the people who may need them because of politics. The reliance on them as the only viable treatment narrows the window of creative thinking about how something else or a different treatment approach might be as, or more, effective in treatment or cure.

I retain hope that the foundations will come to support efforts that offer more in the way of hope and cure. This includes Bill Gates, Oprah, Rosie, BONO, Sir Elton and others who give money for more and more research.

Sometimes more research ends up being just that. And it becomes money for nothing and a pay check for a researcher. Researchers are like planners. The outcome leads to the question, "Where's the beef?" Just like cancer.

For a number of years I have served as a medical advisory board member for Keep Hope Alive (KHA).

This organization has done a lot of work in an effort to help people around the world deal with HIV/AIDS and has come up with many creative approaches to care.

KHA reported some years ago about manganese and selenium, thymus support to raise cell counts and other more natural things that have helped many people. They also encourage a whole food and organic food plan.

Other people have looked at the science in a different was as well and have suggested that four simple nutrients have a major impact on this health problem.

A few years ago I stumbled across one of those creative ideas. It made so much scientific sense to me, based on my understanding of physiology, that I wondered why more people did not know of this information.

I started sending the data out to as many people as possible and put the information in my newsletter, on this blog, and tried to get it out to other venues in an effort to spread the word.

Now today there's an article about selenium. Maybe someone is paying attention and there's a tiny opening that is starting to let a bit of light shine in on this problem.

Selenium May Slow March Of AIDS

ScienceDaily (2008-11-29) -- Increasing the production of naturally occurring proteins that contain selenium in human blood cells slows down multiplication of the AIDS virus, according to biochemists. ... > read full article

I'd like that light to shine on some who have proposed orthomolecular treatments.

The results are more likely to get good outcomes and cure.

These nutrients, like selenium that has been know to be effective in any viral attack - in the form of seleno-methionene - is a first step. It is also not expensive. The use of sodium selenite in the referenced study at Penn State is not the most beneficial form of selenium but it is the cheapest.

HIV/AIDS "Appears to be due to a deficiency of glutathione peroxidase, which contains selenium and three amino acids. If a person with AIDS is given these four essential nutrients and recovers, it is logical to assume that the deficiency of these factors induced by the virus has been corrected, and even though the virus is still present it no longer has the same pathological effect on the body. In other words, the symptoms of AIDS may be due more to a deficiency of the essential nutrients like selenium than they are to the presence of the virus.

Glutathione peroxidase is selenium, as stated above, plus the amino acids cysteine, glutamate and glycine. Glutathione plays a role in nutrient metabolism, and regulation of cellular events (including gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis, cell growth, and immune response). Glutathione, taken as a supplement, may not be able to cross across the cell membrane, so some believe it is better to consider using acetylcysteine (NAC) and other antioxidants.

Glutathione is found in foods, particularly fruits, vegetables and meats. Cyanohydroxybutene, a chemical found in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is also thought to increase glutathione levels. Various herbs -- for instance cinnamon and cardomom -- have compounds that can restore healthy levels of glutathione. Brazil nuts contain a high amount of selenium which can increase glutathione levels. Although glutathione is available in pill form over the counter, its utilization by the body is questionable since we don’t know if it can easily enter cells, even after it is absorbed in the bloodstream.

Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb. Thomson CD, Chisholm A, McLachlan SK, Campbell JM. Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
We investigated the efficacy of Brazil nuts in increasing selenium status in comparison with selenomethionine. Participants consumed 2 Brazil nuts thought to provide approximately 100 mug Selenium, 100 mug Selenium as selenomethionine, or placebo daily for 12 wk. Actual intake from nuts averaged 53 mug Selenium /d (possible range: 20-84 mug Se). Plasma selenium and plasma and whole blood glutathione peroxidase activities were measured at baseline and at 2, 4, 8, and 12 wk, and effects of treatments were compared. Plasma selenium increased by 64%, 61%, and 7%; plasma glutathione peroxidase by 8%, 3%, and -1%; and whole blood glutathione peroxidase by 13%, 5%, and 1.9% in the Brazil nut, selenomethionine, and placebo groups, respectively. Consumption of 2 raw Brazil nuts daily is as effective for increasing selenium status and enhancing glutathione peroxidase activity as 100 mug Se as selenomethionine. Inclusion of this high-selenium food in the diet could avoid the need for fortification or supplements to improve selenium status.

Certain nutrients help raise tissue levels of glutathione including acetylcysteine antioxidant, methyl donors such as choline, DMG and TMG, alpha lipoic acid, polyphenols such as Pycnogenol, and vitamin B12. The mineral Selenium can increase glutathione levels.

An excellent review article in the April 1998 issue of Alternative Medicine Reviews summarizes the known effects of acetylcysteine. The author writes, “N-acetylcysteine is an excellent source of sulfhydryl groups, and is converted in the body into metabolites capable of stimulating glutathione synthesis, promoting detoxification, and acting directly as a free radical scavenger. Administration of acetylcysteine has historically been as a mucolytic [mucus dissolving] agent in a variety of respiratory illnesses; however, it appears to also have beneficial effects in conditions characterized by decreased glutathione or oxidative stress, such as HIV infection, cancer, heart disease, and cigarette smoking.”

Caution: Frequent use of acetaminophen (Tylenol) depletes glutathione peroxidase levels.

Others that support this approach include the work of Harold Foster, a Canadian. An article about his work on AIDS was published in WellBeing Journal.

Another person I know that has done work with people with HIV/AIDS uses an herbal compound that seems over time to raise CD levels to normal.

So let's shift fear back to the status quo and break out of that existing closed-door mold: For the sake of life.

And if you are seeking high quality pharmaceutical grade supplements, please consider letting us be your supply source.

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