Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Form of Selenium Shows Promise in Reducing HIV Viral Load By 10-Fold

Researchers at Penn State have reported a form of the anti-oxidant mineral Selenium proves to reduce HIV viral load in vitro by 10-fold. Sodium Selenite was used in test tubes to prevent HIV from reproduce in human blood. Healthy volunteers donated blood. Later the blood was infected with HIV and small amounts of sodium selenite were added. Viral replication was reduced by 10-fold. Selective reduction of the selenium compound in the cells increased viral replication by 3.5 per cent. This suggests that incorporating a selenium compound into current HIV therapies could prove a valuable method of complementary anti-viral therapy.

Science Daily

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oral Health Linked to HIV Disease Progession

Japanese researchers at the Tokyo-based Nihon University have discovered that an acid produced in gum disease seems to accelerate the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus. Certain bacteria in periodontal or gum disease create a distinctively smelly substance called butyric acid. Butyric acid in turn inhibits an enzyme called HDAC that prevents HIV from reproducing. While not everyone with HIV gets periodontal disease, certain people are constitutionally prone to the disease. The study suggests that health-care workers should actively encourage all of their HIV+ patients to aggressively pursue their oral health habits including regular dental check-ups, daily brushing, and especially daily flossing to remove food debris that can promote the production of bacteria that produce the butyric acid. Butyric acid has an odor that has been likened to socks worn for several days or rancid butter.

Agence France-Presse(AFP)

Mindfulness Meditation Slows Decline of CD4 T cells in HIV Patients

Researchers at the University of California have demonstrated that the practice of Mindfulness Meditation shows promise in halting the decline of CD4 T cell counts in HIV+ patients. Mindfulness Meditation is a meditation technique that encompasses breathing techniques and being present in the present moment in time. Thoughts of the past or future are not welcome in this technique because the practitioner tends to experience increased stress levels when dwelling on the past experiences or future pressures or plans. The technique is specifically designed to decrease stress levels. Study results over 8 weeks showed that HIV+ patients received beneficial results whether they were actively taking anti-retroviral medications or not during the study duration. The study also concluded that patient's response increased as they increased the time they spent practicing Mindfulness Meditation. Control patients (those not practicing Mindfulness Meditation whether taking medication or not) showed decreases in their CD4 T cells over the study duration. This suggests that stress plays a significant role in progression of HIV disease.


University of California, Los Angeles. "Mindfulness Meditation Slows Progression Of HIV, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily 27 July 2008. 22 February 2009 .