A vitamin a day could slow down the progression of HIV, according to new research. Researchers say this could be a low-cost way to delay the progression of this deadly disease. Past studies have indicated that multivitamins may play a role in the progression of HIV. However researchers recently conducted a study to determine if vitamins have an impact on the disease.
The study included 1,078 pregnant women who were infected with HIV. The women were given daily supplements of vitamin A, a multivitamin, both vitamin A and a multivitamin, or a placebo. The women were followed for nearly six years.
Researchers report just 67 of the 271 women on a multivitamin progressed to stage 4 of the disease or died. In comparison, 83 of the 267 women on placebo progressed to stage 4 or died. The women on the multivitamin also had lower viral loads. However, the effects of receiving vitamin A alone were not much different than those of placebo. Plus, adding vitamin A to the multivitamin seemed to reduce some of the benefits.
Thus researchers conclude that a daily multivitamin supplement may be a cost-effective way to delay the progression of HIV in infected women. However, they say further research is needed to look at the use of vitamin A in patients with this disease.