A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that a daily multivitamin supplement with selenium significantly slows the advance of HIV among those with the virus. The researchers tested 878 asymptomatic, HIV-infected people over two years that had never taken antiretroviral medications.
The test subjects were split into four groups, with members of each receiving separate medications—multivitamins, multivitamins plus selenium, selenium alone or a placebo—for five years. The multivitamins contained B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Those given multivitamins plus selenium experienced a 54 percent reduction in low counts of a critical immunity cell factor (called CD4) compared to the placebo group. This group also experienced a 44 percent reduction in other events known to accompany the progression of HIV, including AIDS-related deaths.
The researchers concluded: “In antiviral therapy-naive HIV-infected adults, 24-month supplementation with a single supplement containing multivitamins and selenium was safe and significantly reduced the risk of immune decline and morbidity.”