Is vitamin E supplementation a useful agent in AIDS therapy?

Y. Wang, R. R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a clinical disorder caused by a retrovirus infection, representing the end point in a progressive sequence of immunosuppressive changes. The literature is briefly summarized as to immunological, nutritional and other pathological modifications caused by AIDS, and properties of immunoenhancing, anti-oxidant and undernutrition-restoration of vitamin E supplementation. All these abnormalities in AIDS are similar to those that are stimulated or restored by intake of high doses of vitamin E. The drawbacks of pharmacological therapy like zidovudine (AZT), e.g. deleterious toxic side effects, inability to improve the immune dysfunctions and undernutrition initiated by the retrovirus infection, and finding of AZT-resistant HIV strains, necessitate new strategies for the clinical trials of novel therapies to treat AIDS with the existing medical therapies. Low toxicity nutritional agents with immunoenhancing and antioxidant activities like vitamin E may help to normalize retrovirus-induced immune dysfunctions, undernutrition and other pathological symptoms, thereby retarding the progression of the disease to AIDS. To address this vitamin E therapeutic role in HIV-positive individuals, This paper presents a review of vitamin E-related therapeutic roles in animals and humans, thereby showing why vitamin E supplementation could be used as a useful therapeutic agent in human AIDS therapy. Since there is a paucity of information available regarding the nutritional therapy in AIDS individuals, our purpose is to provide evidence from animal models or humans of the potential therapeutic role of vitamin E supplementation in the treatment of AIDS individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-375
Number of pages25
JournalProgress in food & nutrition science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry


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