Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that extremely destroys the immune system, known as CD4 cells, making it unable to fight against pathogens.
Having unprotected sex, unscreened blood transfusion, sharing injection strings, with a person living with HIV/AIDs are ways of contracting virus.
HIV brings CD4 cells down to a point it cannot defend you against bacteria and fungal infections. Over time, opportunistic diseases including cancer, tuberculosis, diarrhoea hypertension, diabetes start developing in the person’s body.
AIDS occurs in a person with HIV when antiretroviral drugs and nutritional care plans are seen not to be taken as prescribed by the health practitioner.
People get to know their HIV status following a comprehensive diagnostic tests. CD4 count for healthy person is 500 – 1,600 per cubic millimeter. Whereas those living with HIV, their CD4 count falls below 200 per cubic
As immune system struggle to stop HIV strong hold of the body, oxidative stress increased and cause alteration in the gene expression.
However, deficiency of various nutrients like fat, protein and micronutrients are as a result of the attack on the gene – gene mutation.
It has been proven that antiretroviral drug and nutrition care play a critical role in keeping you healthy as well as preventing opportunistic infections.
Micronutrients: are very essential and contributes considerably in our body. They Include zinc, selenium, vitamin E, C, and B
Amazing Micronutrients that stop HIV
Currently there’s no cure for HIV/AIDs. Adapting effective management method becomes very necessary. Among micronutrients for HIV Patients is selenium.
Selenium is one of the body’s antioxidant nutrients, an integral part of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. It assists in promoting immune system.
As antioxidant nutrients, it helps in stopping development of HIV virus by neutralizing free radicals which cause oxidative stress.
You can abundantly obtain Selenium when you consume sea food, meat, whole grains, dark green vegetables among others, for at last 55mg per day
2. Vitamin C
HIV virus goes with numerous symptoms that depletes nutritional status. Taking Vitamin C rich foods daily go a very long way in promoting your immune system.
Apart from performing many bodily functions, elimination of toxic substance, vitamin C prevent iron oxidation as well as enhence iron absorption.
Our body makes use of iron to produce hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.
Vitamin C also Participate in hydroxylation of carnitine, a especially compound that move long- chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of a cell for energy generation.
Recent studies have proven that adequate consumption of vital nutrients like iron can greatly mitigate malnutrition in HIV Patients.
Source of vitamin C include:
In terms of defending our body against oxidative stress vitamin E is superb. It is actually a fat soluble antioxidant that can drastically suppress adverse effects of HIV (3).
One could say, that it plays a supportive role to antiretroviral drugs in reducing viral load of HIV in the body.
However, deficiency of vitamin E leads to hemolytic anaemia. Anaemia is one of the symptoms of HIV virus, so adding appropriate amount of vitamin E helps prevent anaemia.
Source of Vitamin E
HIV virus attack CD4 cells, alter gene expression which lead to weakened immune system and nutrients deficiency for those living with HIV (1).
Sourcing for a replacement of these nutrients becomes inevitable and necessary. Zinc is one of the essential mineral needed for immune system, gene expression, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis and enzymatic reactions.
Zinc is an essential mineral that your body does not make on its own, but through dietary source (1)
Source of zinc
5. Vitamin B6
This is a water-soluble vitamin that our body doesn’t store.
It helps in synthesis of hemoglobin, which is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen.
Hence, taking substantial amount Of vitamin B6 will assist profoundly in immune maintenance.
6. Folic acid
You can prevent unnecessary changes to DNA that may lead to tumor, by incorporating dietary source of folate in your meal. It helps in producing new cell.
Source of folate
HIV virus is a virus that suppresses immune system and predisposes one to numerous chronic diseases.
Micronutrients are vitamin and minerals that help in stopping oxidative stress.
Micronutrients are extensively obtained from fruits and vegetables such as mango, orange, Blueberries Cranberry, almonds, Kale, Spinach, Cauliflower, bitter leaves among others.