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Author Topic: Returning Commentary - My View on Supplementation  (Read 1988 times)

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Offline risred1

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  • My Source for Supps - www.newyorkbuyersclub.org
Returning Commentary - My View on Supplementation
« on: March 05, 2009, 09:06:54 PM »

I used to be a pretty regular contributor and defender of supplementation on this forum. Someone just wrote me a note about a past posting and thought I'd stop by. Largely, I stopped contributing, because, I really had nothing more to say.

Much of the discussion is circular. Proponents like myself could point to small studies, how supplements are used in other countries, and anecdotal evidence. Folks substantially against supplements talk about, the only scientific way to lower VL is with Anti Viral Medication, or, that the disclaimer on supplements says it all - not for treatment of any disease and the best way to obtain nutrients is through food.

My point of view is twofold:

One: That HIV causes a number of side effects, be it an inflammatory response, a metabolic response, a digestive response, etc. For these resopnses, supplements can essentially "treat" those effects.

Two: That nutritional guidelines that service folks who are HIV negative is not necessarily the model that us positive folks should be adhering to. 

Of course this is my opinion, and that ultimately is what is difficult about the idea of supplementation.

All I would encourage folks to do is understand that ultimately and usually, HIV wins and meds will enter the picture. Does that mean supplements have no value. I don't flip to that view as often folks took supplements with the idea or hope that it would keep them off meds. My view is that I'm fighting a delaying action, trying to stimulate enough CD4 level to keep me off meds. This in itself is also something to think carefully and be wary of. What is the effect of long term immune system stimulation with supplements? Can the immune system handle these attempts of stimulation and am I actually exhausting reserves that I will need later?

But immune system stimulation is only one aspect of supplementation. This is ultimately the issue as I see it today. Certain supplements can be used to manage certain effects of HIV infection. But this always is just in the shadows of the big question. Can I boost my CD4 and can I lower my VL?

Well, how about treating your chronic Diarrhea?

How about preventing Neuropathy?

How about boosting your energy level?

How about helping your liver perform better?

How about dealing with Vascular issues associated with HIV?

How about nausea?

There are lots of "how about". And they often come up as individual complaints by folks. And there are even studies that support the use of supplements that can and do help with the above issues.

Ultimately, what I've come to appreciate on a forum is that we all like, at some point, to throw things under the bus. I recall entries where folks were assuming that their bad experience on Atripla, was everyone's experience with atripla, and to Stop taking that medication. Sometimes we have to ask folks who are not having problems to say so. Just so we can see that our futures aren't all a ruinous mess.

Ultimately, the point that I'd like to make is that supplements can be of use, but don't expect too much. In context with dealing with specific side effects, supplements may provide relief and One may be able to stimulate ones immune system temporarily. But there is much more to dealing with HIV than taking a pill, and we should not ignore those facts and put all our stock in supplementation.

As to my current situation, taking a formulation based upon K-PAX with Green Tea, Ginseng, MSM, Vitamin D. I'm hanging in off of meds, but am close. The next test I do will decide. I've added GT back into my supplementation and seeing if i can boost again. (I suspended Green Tea because while boosting my CD4 was 20%, my VL went up over 100k. Right now I'm focusing on CD4.) While it seems that I'm focusing on my immune system too, which I will admit, I am also managing my HIV related diarrhea, fatty liver, blood sugar issues which I know are related to HIV. And I'm trying to prevent HIV related PN and vascular issues associated with HIV.

I just wanted to stop by and reintroduce myself. If i see something of particular interest, I may comment from time to time.

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


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