Can herbal supplements diminish endothelial damage induced by HIV infection?Increased risk of atherosclerosis
and endothelium dysfunction are two of the many problems associated
with HIV infection. Endothelial damage is hypothesized to be related
to a lack of antioxidants in these patients. A year-long, open-labelled
controlled clinical trial was conducted to investigate the effects
of antioxidant supplementation on endothelial damage in HIV patients.
For one year, 10 HIV-positive patients were given a daily dietary
supplement of 100 mcg selenium, 11 were given 30 ml beta-carotene
twice daily, and a third group of 15 patients received no supplementation.
After one year, the control group experienced increases in the von
Willebrand factor and soluble thrombomodulin, two markers of endothelial
function. Increased levels of these markers suggest endothelial
damage over the course of the study. Researchers suggest that these
findings be evaluated in larger numbers of HIV-infected patients.
Constans J, Seigneur M,
Blann A et al. Effect of the antioxidants selenium and beta-carotene
on HIV-related endothelium dysfunction. Thromb Haemost 1998;
© 2003 by Herb Research Foundation,
Boulder, CO, USA.