Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Nutrition & HIV

Calcium/Vitamin D

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--- Quote from: Common_ground on July 25, 2012, 06:43:21 AM ---The vitamin D deficiancy is more linked to food intake in Thailand rather than the sun. Milk and dairy products are a luxury for most Thais and they are not accustomed to use it in cooking.
Things are slowly changing with foreign influence but outside Bangkok most people eat traditional Thai food, a rice based diet low in protein.

--- End quote ---

I rather doubt that - vitamin D's primary source is sunlight - or rather the chemical process that happens in the body when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is difficult to obtain through dietary sources.

Milk is only a real source of vitamin D when the milk has been fortified with vitamin D. This is common practice in the US, but not other places. The UK, for example, does not fortify dairy products.

Fish oils are one of the best dietary supplements for vitamin D, and Thais eat a lot of fish.

According to some research, low vitamin D levels are more associated with race - with people who possess darker skin tones being more at risk than people with lighter skin tones - than they are with dietary factors.

Here's some reading for you:

Vitamin D and Health (Harvard School of Public Health)

Vitamin D and HIV (natap)

Vitamin D deficiency extremely common among HIV-positive patients in diverse regions (NAM/aidsmap)

From the last link:


These studies add to a growing body of evidence that insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels are extremely prevalent among people with HIV. While prevalence figures (and the cut-off values used to define them) vary, these studies reported insufficiency rates of 54% to 72%; figures which are generally consistent with other reports. Studies in women linked vitamin D deficiency with risk of bacterial vaginosis, thrush, and other health problems.

The single factor invariably associated with insufficiency or deficiency was non-Caucasian race. Otherwise, reported risk factors were not entirely consistent, although several studies identified NNRTI and/or efavirenz use.

Investigators agreed that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among HIV-positive individuals, has harmful effects on health, and is easily addressable through supplementation. Remaining research questions include the link between deficiency and clinical health outcomes, the impact of supplementation, the best doses for supplementation, and closer comparisons of deficiency rates in people with HIV and in the general population, where deficiency is also common.

Knew I could count on you for providing some great research papers on this  :)

CG, I am caucasian, living right on the equator who gets lots of tropical sun and with an all year sexy tan  8)  Even with good nutrition I however need a VitD3 supplement to keep my levels at optimal levels.....go figure!!! In my case I reckon its the NNRTI meds (efavirenz) as has been mentioned in the reports supplied by Ann.

For me this issue is important as I am still relatively young and frisky  ;)  yet have been told by my specialist that sufficient VitD / calcium and weight bearing exercise is important to keep my diagnosed ostopenia from progressing further.

A little scary to read that most of the population in Nothern and Southern climes are at some times during the year VitD deficient and therefore a contributing factor to to a range of potential nasty medical issues including lower immunity as a consequence.

So maybe a good idea for everybody to get tested for VitD when they next go see their doctor..... especially our poz friends now experiencing the freezing Winter conditions below the equator!! Now where did I put my Pina Colada  ;D


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