Christian Living

healthenews 02/12/08

New HIV Discovery

U.S. scientists have just announced finding an additional path by which H.I.V. ravages the human body. Dr. Anthony Fauci and his government team identified a receptor in the body. H.I.V. triggers the receptor and then helps guide the virus, if present, to the gut intestinal area. In the gut, the virus rapidly reproduces in the lymph system, a key part of the body's immunity.

The technical term for the find is "the integrin alpha-4 beta-7 receptor." Several drugs that block this receptor are being tried in experiments. Though they are looking to stop autoimmune disorders the body attacks itself as in rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's Disease, lupus, and other afflictions, the drugs might fight H.I.V.

Interestingly, this story did not receive much attention. Not so many years ago, this would have been front page news. I suspect this ho-hum attitude reflects the reality that H.I.V. is not killing as many people in the U.S. because of the current drug treatments -- and perhaps the news media's boredom.

At the same time as hopes of additional drug treatments appear on the horizon, there still needs to be better information on nutrition in fighting the virus. For instance, over a year ago Townsend Letter for Doctors highlighted the known importance of selenium, "A recent study examined selenium deficiency and the rate of HIV progression to AIDS.

The researchers discovered that selenium deficiency in HIV-infected persons was associated with nearly a 20 times greater likelihood of death due to AIDS when compared to persons infected with the virus who had adequate selenium levels." Where is that information being discussed?

This new finding focuses on the gut and the immune system. We're finding that good bacteria play an important part in health by supporting gut and immune function. Having proper levels of probiotics as these bacteria are known could definitely help A.I.D.S. patients -- and everybody else for that matter.

A representative of Dr. Ohhira's probiotic formula, one of the world's leading products, told me about an A.I.D.S. patient who was able to fight off most of the secondary infections resulting from H.I.V. infection. Even though it did not ultimately extend the patient's life, he called to thank them for making his quality of life so much better shortly before he died.

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