The potential role of vitamin E in the treatment of immunologic abnormalities during acquired immune deficiency syndrome


Odeleye OE, Watson RR




Prog Food Nutr Sci


The literature is briefly summarized as to immunologic modifications caused by the human acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), immunocompetence at various nutritional states of vitamin E, and the immunoenhancing properties of vitamin E. The abnormalities of immune components present in AIDS are similar to those that are stimulated or restored by intake of high doses of vitamin E. Dietary supplementation of vitamin E with an adequate nutrition support or concomitant use of this vitamin with current drug therapies [For example, Zidovudine (AZT)] may increase the therapeutic efficiency of drugs and enhance immune resistance to opportunistic infections associated with AIDS. Supplementation with vitamin E may also decrease the progression of the disease to AIDS. Unlike many pharmacological agents which are toxic at low levels, vitamin E is non-toxic over a wide range of intakes. A moderately high dose may be used to target and stimulate some specific immune cells destroyed by HIV infection. However, further interdisciplinary studies are much needed to relate various levels of intake of this vitamin as a supplement to clinical outcomes during HIV infection and establish the role for this vitamin in human immunity during AIDS.