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AIDS Research

Nutrients and HIV: part three - N-acetylcysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, L-glutamine, and L-carnitine.

Altern Med Rev 2000 Aug;5(4):290-305 (ISSN: 1089-5159)

Patrick L

The role of antioxidants in preventing apoptosis and viral activation in HIV is well documented. N-acetylcysteine, glutathione, and alpha-lipoic acid have been shown to interrupt the process of viral activation and CD4 cell death. L-glutamine has been shown to improve glutathione levels and significantly increase lean body mass in HIV infection. The literature on the use of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine in treating mitochondrial toxicity, both in muscle and nerve pathologies is relevant in nutritional treatment of HIV, given the mitochondrial toxicity of nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy. The current use of highly active antiviral therapies, their toxicity, and significant failure rates have created the need for a more conservative reassessment of HIV treatment. The adjunctive use of nutrient therapy in the treatment of HIV is reviewed here.



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