Vitamins, minerals and supplements for people living with HIV

People living with HIV may become deficient in micronutrients for a number of reasons and need more nutrients to fight the virus. Several studies have shown that people with HIV infection have an increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. In turn, nutritional deficiencies can lead to the progression of HIV infection to the AIDS stage and increase the risk of death. For this reason, micronutrient requirements are thought to be higher for people with HIV than for the general population.

Consumption of the required amount of vitamins and microelements during HIV infection contributes to:

  • strengthening the immune system;
  • increasing resistance to viral and infectious diseases;
  • slowing the progression of HIV infection;
  • reducing the risk of complications during treatment of HIV infection;
  • improvement of well-being.

Let's consider which vitamins are especially useful for people with the human immunodeficiency virus.

Vitamin A and beta caroteneMaintains healthy skin, lungs and stomach.Liver, eggs, milk, spinach, pumpkin, green pepper, zucchini, carrots
B vitamins (B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, Folate)

Strengthens the immune and nervous system.
White beans, potatoes, meat, fish, chicken, watermelon, grains, nuts, avocado, broccoli

Vitamin CAntioxidant, protects the body from infections and accelerates its recovery.Citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons), tomatoes, potatoes

Vitamin D Essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Milk, fatty fish
Vitamin EProtects body cells and helps fight infections.Vegetables, vegetable oils, avocados, almonds
Iron Lack of iron can cause anemia.Vegetables, whole grain bread, dried fruit, beans, red meat, chicken, liver, fish and eggs
Selenium Supports immunity.Whole grains, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, peanut butter and nuts

Zinc Supports immunity. Meat, fish, poultry, beans, peanuts, milk and dairy products

Another important substance needed for people with HIV are antioxidants.

Antioxidants  are molecules that protect the human body from free radicals. Some infections, such as HIV, can upset this balance, causing the body to produce more free radicals than usual. In turn, this can lead to oxidative stress, in which the body cannot cope with all the free radicals it produces. Oxidative stress can cause great harm to cells.

To compensate for the lack of antioxidants in your body, consume more fruits and vegetables. Also, antioxidants are found in black and green tea, mushrooms and dark chocolate.

Antioxidant supplements include vitamins C and E, the minerals zinc and selenium, as well as coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid and N-acetylcysteine.

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