Why Vitamin C is the wonder supplement in managing HIV

Why Vitamin C is the wonder supplement in managing HIV. Photo | Photosearch

What you need to know:

One nutrient that many, including myself, believe should be at the cornerstone of any programme designed to successfully manage HIV and prevent the onset of AIDS, is the humble vitamin C.


For the last hundred years, medicine has focused on drugs – they’re designed to destroy the invader whether it’s antibiotics, anti-virals, or chemo. But what if, in addition to your morning cocktail of drugs, you also bolstered your immune system? This is how I work with my patients, and it’s the difference between symptom-free HIV infection and full-blown AIDS.


One nutrient that many, including myself, believe should be at the cornerstone of any programme designed to successfully manage HIV and prevent the onset of AIDS, is the humble vitamin C. That doesn’t mean just drinking more orange juice, but taking one gram every hour (you need a full 22 oranges to make up just one gram). 


Such mega doses have been touted as a cure for everything from the common cold to cancer. Not only does it help immune cells to mature, vitamin C (itself an anti-viral and an anti-bacterial) improves the performance of the body’s army of immune cells. It is also able to destroy toxins produced by bacteria, and is a natural anti-histamine, calming down inflammation. Excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol, a potent immune suppressor, are controlled by sufficient vitamin C.  


 ‘In vitro’ (laboratory) trials on human T-cells (a type of immune cell) infected with HIV have been conducted with vitamin C and results compared favourably with AZT, the first prescribable anti-HIV drug. Unfortunately, since vitamin C isn’t a patentable drug, there is a lack of funding to conduct to test the effects in people infected with HIV. When a substance can’t be patented, there’s little room for profit and the pharmaceuticals simply aren’t interested.


Nevertheless, two studies have shown the positive effects of vitamin C supplementation, one of which was conducted in Tanzania. The study involved giving over a thousand HIV positive pregnant women a high strength multivitamin including 500mg of vitamin C. Even though the quantity of vitamin C was a tiny proportion of what is suggested as optimal for viral suppression by laboratory trials, the results wereconclusive: there was a significant reduction in risk for women going into the later stages of AIDS and reduced AIDS-related mortality. 


San Francisco-based Dr. Jon Kaiser is a pioneer in bringing together the best of natural and standard medical therapies to treat HIV and his case files reveal an astonishing degree of clinical success. As of March 1994, Dr. Kaiser had for seven years tracked the progress of 300 of his HIV and AIDS patients. Only 20 of them had died.  "It is clear now that many of my patients are reversing damage caused by HIV and actually rebuilding their immune systems," says Dr. Kaiser. Encouraging words indeed.




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