Study Shows High-Dose Multivitamins Don’t Benefit HAART Patients
A new study was conducted at Harvard University which shows that HIV patients who are receiving HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) don’t get any more benefits from a high-dose multivitamin than they would from a regular dose. It is the first time that a study has been done on such a large scale to see the difference in results of HAART clinical trials when combined with different amounts of vitamin intake.
The Journal of the American Medical Association recorded the study in its October 17, 2012 issue. The reason for the test was to compare results with other studies that showed these high doses slowed disease progression in individuals not being treated with HAART. While HAART is a big step in treating HIV, it still does not completely repair the immune system, and takes a number of months before it becomes effective. Thus, researchers wanted to see if the vitamins could boost the results.
The study was conducted on a group of over 3,400 patients over the course of 2 years. Half of the patients received ultra high doses of vitamins such as B, C, and E, while the others received a regular dose.
There are several ways to measure HIV progression. Among these are BMI, CD4 count, hemoglobin level concentration, and plasma viral load. According to the study, the high dose vitamin takers experienced the same progression of the disease and mortality rate. In fact, there may be detrimental effects as ALT enzyme levels are raised which can possibly result in liver problems and other complications.
While high doses of vitamins are both safe and somewhat effective for HIV patients who are not being treated with HAART, the opposite seems to be true of those receiving this medical treatment. Primarily the test has proven to researchers that more studies must be done.
Micro nutrients help to maintain our body’s immune system and are thus being researched to help those with immune disorders like HIV/AIDS. Future studies will consider that perhaps in this case, less really is more.