Probiotics Are Showing Up in HIV Studies

September 24, 2014

Some scientists believe HIV-positive patients could one day use probiotic drinks instead of injections for HIV treatment.

The potential link between consumable probiotics and immune health is gathering so much support that even HIV researchers are interested.

While much of the population has presumably heard about probiotics and digestive health by now, a less-publicized discussion takes place in the HIV community, where scientists are increasingly interested in probiotics as HIV treatment. The Washington Post provides a rich background of one French scientist’s exploration of probiotics on monkeys with SIV (their HIV equivalent) and his discovery that a probiotic drink may effectively condition their bodies to ignore the virus rather than destroy it. The theory, called immunosuppression, is still being unraveled, but complementary research is already taking place on humans.

Researchers at the University of California just published a study on HIV-positive human subjects on 90 days of the well-commercialized GanedenBC30 probiotic strain or placebo. In Aids Research and Human Retroviruses, they explain that the probiotic appeared to improve chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, which many scientists believe are central to the development of AIDS.

For extensive reading on the relationship between probiotics and HIV, visit the link above.

Robby Gardner
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook magazine
robby.gardner@ubm.com
 

Photo by ©iStockphoto.com/Quanthem

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