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Vitamin D3 boosts immunity in HIV-positive people

Vitamin D3 boosts immunity in HIV-positive people
Several measures of immune function improved when kids and young adults with HIV took a daily 7,000 IU vitamin D3 supplement compared with placebo.

Dr. Virginia A. Stallings and colleagues from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which treatment with a 7,000 IU vitamin D3 product benefited HIV-positive children and young adults. The publication, titled “High-Dose Vitamin D3 Supplementation in Children and Young Adults with HIV: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” was published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Over a 12-month period, 50 HIV-positive individuals aged 5 to 24.9 years were given 7,000 IU of vitamin D3 or placebo daily. Blood tests showed that 95 percent of study participants had suboptimal vitamin D blood levels at baseline. Vitamin D3 supplementation increased average serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels from 18 ng/mL at baseline to 32 ng/mL at three months.  After the 12-month study period, vitamin D3 subjects maintained a 12 ng/mL increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels compared to placebo. The supplement dosage was also observed to be safe in this population.

Several measures of immune function improved with vitamin D3 supplementation compared with placebo. There was an increase in the percentage of naïve T helper cells, CD4+ cells, and a reduction in RNA viral load at several time points during the study.

“It’s encouraging to see that high-dose vitamin D3 improved important aspects of immune function in these HIV-positive study participants without causing any major side effects. This study certainly supports further research into the use of high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation for individuals with HIV,” says Dr. Steven Hirsh, director of clinical research for Life Extension.


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