Multivitamins May Reduce HIV Death Rate

December 12, 2003

A placebo controlled study made by scientists at the The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that a daily supplement of vitamins and minerals can reduce the HIV death rate. According to the scientists this may have great relevance for the treatment of HIV patients in countries which do not have access to optimal medical therapy.

The number of HIV infected persons continues to rise at a lightning speed. Worldwide, there are almost 5 million that are infected with HIV every year. In Denmark, 250-300 people are diagnosed with HIV every year, and the number is increasing. According to the AIDS Fund, there are approximately 4,500 HIV infected in Denmark, of which only 1,500 are in medical treatment.

In the latest issue of the journal AIDS, the results of a new startling study are published. 481 HIV-infected men and women participated in the study. All participants were from Thailand and none were receiving medical treatment for HIV.

The participants were divided into two groups, one of which received a placebo (cheat pill) and the other a special supplement of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The participants were followed for a total of 48 weeks, with follow-up every 12 weeks.

After 48 weeks of treatment, the results showed a significantly lower mortality in the group that received the active treatment.

This is the first time that reduced mortality has been demonstrated by giving something as simple and cheap as multivitamins/minerals to HIV patients. It is a very strong and thought-provoking result”, says the chairman of the Vitality Council, medical specialist Dr. Claus Hancke.

Traditional medical treatment costs approx. 100,000 DK kr. per year for each patient. The treatment extends the HIV-infected person’s life on average by 6-7 years.

Other studies have shown that multivitamins/minerals can increase the body’s resistance, and now it turns out that it also provides better survival. Further documentation needs to be on the table, but already now patient associations such as HIV-Danmark should inform their members about the result“, says Claus Hancke.

By: Vitality Council

AIDS (17 (17):2461-2469).