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Author Topic: Does Astragalus work for you ?  (Read 6806 times)

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Offline John2038

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Does Astragalus work for you ?
« on: January 16, 2009, 06:14:48 AM »
Since I have use Astragalus before meds, I saw my VL dropping twice from 3k to less than 600.
I can't says at all it was because of taking Astragalus, but I was wondering if others got any results ?

Now I am on meds, I can't see the effect on this herbal supplement, and I am wondering if I will continue with it or not. So far, I will, but your input can be interesting.

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 10:35:27 PM »
I started taking it, but I'm on meds so wouldn't know about lowering VL,  But if you remember the article published on this web site
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_astragalus_telomere_1667_15595.shtml
it would seem the benefits might not be immediately noticable.  Rather it might be something that might be beneficial in the long run. 
I know it does something because, at least when I started taking it, it made my head ring a bit more than it always does.  Blueberry extract also does the same thing (and my meds as well).

Offline madbrain

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 06:53:29 AM »
Since I have use Astragalus before meds, I saw my VL dropping twice from 3k to less than 600.
I can't says at all it was because of taking Astragalus, but I was wondering if others got any results ?

Now I am on meds, I can't see the effect on this herbal supplement, and I am wondering if I will continue with it or not. So far, I will, but your input can be interesting.

I have been taking it for about a month, but it's only one of many supplements that I take. My VL continues to be low. I have no idea if there is correlation between my taking it and the low VL.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 07:28:20 PM »
I take a few supplements and I am not taking HIV meds yet. My VL went down from 18k to 7k in the last two tests and I had recently added astragalus to my regimen. Of course there's no way of knowing how much of that if any was due to the astragalus.*  I also take NAC and selenium as far as things to target the immune system. I have been wondering if i should continue taking astragalus and NAC after I go on meds, I guess there's no way to know if it's a good idea to stay on them or not after going on meds?

*I also have Herpes although I have not had an outbreak in many years, even being poz, and with no herpes meds. My doctor recommended I take one daily Valtrex since some studies have shown that it can help keep HIV viral load down (link below) so who knows if the viral load drop was also due to this, just thought I'd mention it.

http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/AE968E37-6F05-4F0F-8FB9-E3A7C39CA15F.asp
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 07:32:27 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline madbrain

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2009, 10:31:04 PM »
Inchingblue,

I take a few supplements and I am not taking HIV meds yet. My VL went down from 18k to 7k in the last two tests and I had recently added astragalus to my regimen. Of course there's no way of knowing how much of that if any was due to the astragalus.*  I also take NAC and selenium as far as things to target the immune system. I have been wondering if i should continue taking astragalus and NAC after I go on meds, I guess there's no way to know if it's a good idea to stay on them or not after going on meds?

I took the astragalus for one month only, and I am out of it. I'm not sure if it helped. My CD4% went up nicely in the last test and my VL is going a bit lower too. But no way to tell.
I haven't found any in vitro studies that showed that taking astragalus as a supplement would help with HIV. I hope some are underway.
As far as taking them together with meds, ask your doctor. There are also some drug interaction checkers that include many supplements. This will not catch all interactions, only documented ones, but it is better than nothing.

Quote
*I also have Herpes although I have not had an outbreak in many years, even being poz, and with no herpes meds. My doctor recommended I take one daily Valtrex since some studies have shown that it can help keep HIV viral load down (link below) so who knows if the viral load drop was also due to this, just thought I'd mention it.

http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/AE968E37-6F05-4F0F-8FB9-E3A7C39CA15F.asp


I also have herpes. I have never had an outbreak. I only found out about it by asking for a test. I don't take anything for it. Peter Staley wrote something on his blog about it last year. As I recall, there was some concern that taking the valtrex alone would be akin to HIV monotherapy, and thus not desirable as it may lead to resistance.

Offline veritas

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 05:21:23 AM »

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2009, 11:49:59 AM »
The title of the article linked below is a little hyperbolic, "AIDS Breakthrough: Astragalus Root Could Replace HIV Drugs." But they are reporting a study that was published in The Journal of Immunology, which is a respected journal as far as I know. Basically "Not only did the researchers find that the astragalus-derived TAT2 slowed the shortening of telomeres, but it also boosted the CD8 T-lymphocytes production of soluble factors called chemokines and cytokines. And these substances have been shown in other research to block the replication of the HIV virus."

Now the big question: at what doses? I take the amount recommended on the bottle I have "1 to 3 tablets a day," 500 mg. each (I take 3 every other day)

Here's the link:

http://www.naturalnews.com/024799.html
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 11:55:48 AM by Inchlingblue »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2009, 12:19:32 PM »
Articles like this surface every six months and have done so for the past 20 years.  Nothing ever pans out.

... but it's your money, not mine.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline madbrain

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2009, 08:08:14 PM »
Hi,

Now the big question: at what doses? I take the amount recommended on the bottle I have "1 to 3 tablets a day," 500 mg. each (I take 3 every other day)

I don't think that's the biggest question actually. The link you posted is just a commentary on the study.

If you look at the poz article referenced above, http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_astragalus_telomere_1667_15595.shtml, you will see that these were just test tube experiments, and studies of TAT2 have not yet been conducted in people.

Many things that work in test tubes don't work in people. We don't know yet if taking this supplement orally helps at all. IMO, that's the biggest question to be answered yet. I'm still looking for any kind of human study in people with HIV and astragalus. I haven't been able to find one yet. For this reason, I'm not sure if I'm going to re-order it.

Offline risred1

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2009, 09:18:25 PM »
I gave up on Astragalus as its proposed use is too vague.

Proported to be a Immune System Modulator, which my first question is, "what is a Modulator?". It seemed to primarily be used on a cycle with Siberian Ginseng. And was often applied to encourage recovery from serious illness.

From my point of view, it has made no difference in my immune system response. I have cycled on and off over many months, and have not seen any corresponding increase in my well being when i was on vs off. And I did not notice any significant boosting when I cycled on and off before blood tests.

When I took Green Tea supplementation to the tune of 20 cups a day, I noticed a difference. But never with Astragalus. Subsequently, I have removed it from my regime.

Here is a link to a supplement information page. Click on astragalus on the left to bring up the specific page.

http://newyorkbuyersclub.org/resources/all-about-supplements/index.html
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 12:17:30 AM by risred1 »
risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline madbrain

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2009, 09:37:46 PM »
Thanks, risred1 ! However, there was no link in your post.

Here is a link to a supplement information page. Click on astragalus on the left to bring up the specific page.


Offline risred1

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2009, 12:18:00 AM »
Sorry, I corrected my post. Thanks!
risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline Merlin

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2009, 03:24:16 PM »
Hmmm...can't help but wonder. If everyone here had their VL reduced on account of having Astragalus added to their supplementation, why suddenly turn around and knock it? It's true that nothing can ever be sure since we never seem to have any clinical tests "documented" for natural remedies or supplements.

My philosophy is simple: take it as a need to take basis. If it does not cost you an arm or leg and you believe it may help, dun loose sleep over it. ;)
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Offline risred1

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2009, 04:03:27 PM »
In answering the question poised about Astragalus, A supplement I have taken based upon information I have gleaned over the years, I was simply expressing my conclusions with the science experiment which is me.

Naturally, we experimenters don't necessarily have the time to do the rigor one would want in drawing a conclusion. But, for the most part what I've done is adhere to a core regimen and apply various Herbs like Astragalus to see essentially, how I feel and if there is a change in my blood work.

I would state, once again as my opinion, as an example, that Time Release Korean Ginseng helps my energy level. Having cycled on and off of it. By cycling, taking it for 6 weeks and then not for at least 2 weeks. I've done the same with Astragalus over a much longer period, taking it for as long as 6 months on, and then dropping it for 3 months. Having blood tests done and considering it in that context.

Because for me, I have not notice any significant change in my blood work on Astragalus and off of it, and because I really don't notice any change in my overall well being. I've stopped taking it.

This is only my opinion of course.

When I reviewed the documentation link I provided. I continue to be somewhat mystified as to what Astragalus is really supposed to do. It is not that I don't have some regard for Chinese Herbal medicines, but I don't see much evidence that it really does much of anything for folks with HIV.

I don't know if in effect what my opinions matter in this regard. Everyone is different. If someone can state otherwise their experience, I would like to hear it. I sense that we are all sorta looking at the stuff and going... what's this really about?
risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline madbrain

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Re: Does Astragalus work for you ?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2009, 07:12:32 PM »
Hmmm...can't help but wonder. If everyone here had their VL reduced on account of having Astragalus added to their supplementation, why suddenly turn around and knock it? It's true that nothing can ever be sure since we never seem to have any clinical tests "documented" for natural remedies or supplements.

My philosophy is simple: take it as a need to take basis. If it does not cost you an arm or leg and you believe it may help, dun loose sleep over it. ;)

The problem is that even if many of us had our VL reduced, we don't know that the Astragalus had anything to do with it. It's very hard to take it on faith.

And yes, there have been some clinical trials for many other supplements for HIV positive patients - just on top of my head, there have been some for multi-vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, acetyl l-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid,  l-glutamine, n-acetyl cysteine, korean red ginseng. But it's not the case for every supplement.

There are thousands of different supplements on the market. Many of them make a claim of improving the immune system. Even if each one is individually relatively cheap to take - as Astragalus certainly is -, we can't just take them all hoping it will do something good. That would be too expensive and impractical. And it might actually do something bad too. So, we "supplement advocates" don't do so indiscriminately, we still try to sort out the good from the bad.

 


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