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Beta-carotene and selenium

Can herbal supplements diminish endothelial damage induced by HIV infection?Increased risk of atherosclerosis and endothelium dysfunction are two of the many problems associated with HIV infection. Endothelial damage is hypothesized to be related to a lack of antioxidants in these patients. A year-long, open-labelled controlled clinical trial was conducted to investigate the effects of antioxidant supplementation on endothelial damage in HIV patients. For one year, 10 HIV-positive patients were given a daily dietary supplement of 100 mcg selenium, 11 were given 30 ml beta-carotene twice daily, and a third group of 15 patients received no supplementation. After one year, the control group experienced increases in the von Willebrand factor and soluble thrombomodulin, two markers of endothelial function. Increased levels of these markers suggest endothelial damage over the course of the study. Researchers suggest that these findings be evaluated in larger numbers of HIV-infected patients.

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Constans J, Seigneur M, Blann A et al. Effect of the antioxidants selenium and beta-carotene on HIV-related endothelium dysfunction. Thromb Haemost 1998; 80:1015-17.

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