Natural Remedies for Immunity
Selenium Deficiency and AIDS
It has been observed that some people live with an HIV infection for a decade before the virus completely destroys the immune system. Others die within a couple of years of contracting the infection. Strong theoretical evidence suggests that selenium deficiency triggers the progression of HIV infections into full-blown AIDS.
Ethan Will Taylor, Ph.D., of University of Georgia,
provided an explanation to this mystery. He suggested that HIV virus (that causes AIDS)
robs the body of selenium and weaken its immunity. (13) So, selenium
availability determines how fast the HIV virus infection transforms into
Dr. Taylor suggested that, when the virus uses
up all of the selenium in an HIV -infected T cell, it reproduces faster and starts attacking other T cells in search of more selenium.
As the viruses multiply, the demand for selenium increases. At some
point the body will not be able to supply enough Selenium to quench the
thirst of HIV virus. As in the case of Coxsackie virus, selenium deficiency may cause the rapid mutation of HIV.
Ultimately, the entire body's stores of selenium are wiped out by the spreading and selenium-hungry virus. The result is that the body cannot produce sufficient quantities of glutathione
The immune system of the victim of HIV virus
will try desperately to combat the virus by producing large amounts of free radicals to kill the virus and associated bacterial infections. Without glutathione peroxidase and other protective antioxidants, these free radicals become toxic to the immune system, and the body becomes less able to defend itself.
Will supplementation by selenium help in this stage of the game? It will not eliminate the problem. It may buy us a little more time. The description given by Richard Huemer, MD (14) describes how hopeless this situation is.
But in theory, supplemental selenium would do two things to limit the damage caused by an HIV infection. First, supplemental selenium would provide what the HIV virus needs, so the virus would stay put and not attack other cells. This is a little like throwing a steak to a hungry animal so it doesn't eat your leg. Second, selenium would keep the person's overall immune system functioning at a reasonable level. That would be analogous to giving you the strength to run away from the animal.
Next Topic: How Selenium Fights Infections
Taylor, E. W., et al., "A Basis for New Approaches to the Chemotherapy of AIDS," Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, August 19, 1994; 37:2637-2654.
Rchuard P. Huemer, MD., "The Natural Health Guide to Beating the Supergerms," Pocket Books, New York, 1997.