PURCHASE, N.Y., Jan 22, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Nutrition 21, Inc. (NXXI) announced today that daily supplementation with Selenomax(R), the company's high selenium yeast product, suppressed progression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and improved immune cell CD4 counts in HIV-1 seropositive men and women. The benefits reported in the five-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami and published in the January 22 issue of the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine, were seen in both people with HIV/AIDS on anti-retroviral therapy (ARV), and those who were not.(1)
These findings are significant because boosting the immune system's CD4 cell count and suppressing viral loads (co-measurements of HIV progression and the goals of HIV treatment), can decrease the likelihood of developing complication of HIV disease and prolong life.(2)
Selenomax will be available first at CVS/pharmacy in all its 6,200 retail stores across the country, including PharmaCare Specialty Pharmacy locations, and on www.cvs.com ($15.99 for a two-month supply). Nutrition 21 will also be collaborating with additional retailers over the next several months to make Selenomax, the same nutritional supplement used in the study, even more widely available. Other forms of selenium currently available may not produce the same effects.
"This study builds on previous research showing selenium's potential role as an antioxidant in immune health and the possible consequences of selenium deficiency in people living with HIV/AIDS," said Barry Hurwitz, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Medicine at the University of Miami and lead investigator of the study. "The results support the use of high selenium yeast as an inexpensive, safe nutritional therapy in HIV spectrum disease."
Nutrition 21 established the quality standards for high selenium yeast supplements through the study of Selenomax in clinical trials. Selenomax was previously investigated by clinical researchers in a nation-wide cancer prevention study which showed beneficial effects on reducing risk of prostate cancer as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996.(3)
"Given the significant clinical findings seen with our Selenomax brand, the immediate focus is to collaborate with retailers to ensure that the product is readily available," said Paul Intlekofer, President and CEO of Nutrition 21. "Selenomax was chosen by study investigators specifically for its absorbability, its bioavailability and because it is organic -- it is the closest form of selenium to that found in nature. Other forms of commercially available selenium do not share these characteristics."
The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effects of once-daily supplementation with Selenomax high selenium yeast (200 mcg selenium) in 262 study participants seropositive for HIV-1. One hundred seventy four subjects completed nine months of treatment (91 subjects were given the supplement and 83 were given a placebo). Serum selenium levels significantly increased (> 3 SD) in more than half of the selenium treated subjects (50). In these subjects, HIV-1 viral load was significantly lower (p < 0.02) and the CD4 cell count was significantly higher (p < 0.02) compared to the placebo group. The beneficial effects of Selenomax supplementation were consistent across the diverse study population regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, and past and/or current drug use. Additionally, the findings remained significant after correcting for the effects of disease-related factors, including ART regimen and adherence, HIV disease stage and duration and HCV co-infection. No adverse events were reported. The study was funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The selenium used in the study was provided by Nutrition 21, Inc.
Impact of HIV & AIDS
In 2006, more than 1 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in the United States alone, and an estimated 40,000 new HIV infections are expected to occur this year.(4) While significant progress has been made in treating the virus, HIV and AIDS have claimed the lives of more than 22 million people worldwide, including more than 500,000 people in the United States.(5)
Selenomax is a powerful trace mineral antioxidant. It stimulates and protects the immune system by supporting antibody production and preventing free-radical damage.
Selenomax is highly absorbed and bioavailable. It contains L-selenomethionine, the natural form of selenium used by the body, which is virtually 100% absorbed and well retained. The yeast-bound L-selenomethionine which is organic, has been certified for maximum purity. More information is available at http://www.selenomax.com.
About Nutrition 21
Nutrition 21 is a nutritional bioscience company and the maker of chromium-based and omega-3 fish oil-based supplements with health benefits substantiated by clinical research. The company markets Chromax(R) chromium picolinate, http://www.chromax.com/, which is the most-studied form of the essential mineral chromium. Chromax, a supplement for healthy and pre-diabetic people that promotes insulin health and helps improve blood sugar metabolism, cardiovascular disease, control carbohydrate cravings and fight weight gain, is now available through food, drug and mass retailers nationwide. Nutrition 21 also developed and markets Diachrome(R), http://www.diachrome.com/, a proprietary, non-prescription, insulin sensitizer for people with type 2 diabetes. It is available in select drug retailers nationwide. Nutrition 21 holds 33 patents for nutrition products and uses, 23 of which are for chromium compounds and their uses. The Company is the exclusive importer of Icelandic fish oils, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are manufactured to pharmaceutical standards and sold under the Iceland Health(R) brand, http://www.icelandhealth.info. More information is available at http://www.nutrition21.com.
(1) Hurwitz, B. Suppression of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Viral
Load with Selenium Supplementation. Archives of Internal Medicine.
Volume 167: January 22, 2007 ( http://archinte.ama-assn.org).
(2) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. National Aids Treatment
Information Project, 1998.
(3) Clark, L.C. Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention
in patients with carcinoma of the skin. A randomized controlled trial.
Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Study Group. Journal of the American
Medical Association. Volume 276: December 1996.
(4) Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The Toll of the HIV
Epidemic. Last reviewed April 19, 2006.
(5) UNAIDS, 2006 AIDS Epidemic Update, December 2006.