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New Study Shows British Nutritional Supplement May Prolong Life Span Of HIV-Infected Individuals
London, England, 25 November 2003

As the developing world's continuing fight against AIDS is highlighted by campaigners on the forthcoming World's Aids Day, new research published in the November issue of AIDS, the Official Journal of the International AIDS Society, suggests that a nutritional supplement available on the British high street may help significantly reduce the mortality rate of HIV-infected patients with CD4 cell counts below 200 per microlitre.

This is the first randomised trial to show a clinical benefit—a reduction in deaths—as a result of multiple micronutrient supplementation and illustrates that nutrients, which are both readily available and cost effective, could play an important role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

A total of 481 HIV-infected men and women took part in the trial and were asked to take Immunace®, a commercially available supplement which contains a comprehensive mix of vitamins and micronutrients. Trial participants were followed-up every 12 weeks for a total of 48 weeks.

The results at 48 weeks showed that the death rate among HIV-infected adults with CD4 counts below 200 who took Immunace® was significantly lower than those who took placebo. There was no impact on CD4 count or plasma viral load.

While earlier observational studies have pointed to a link between micronutrient deficiencies in HIV-infected individuals and a faster progression to death, this study is the first to assess the effect of supplementation on death rates. The study also highlights the need to measure actual clinical benefits in individuals taking micronutrient supplements rather than simply looking for changes in biochemical markers.

Dr Shabbar Jaffar, of The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who lead the research team, says, "More research is needed to establish the mechanism for increased survival with micronutrients." He adds, "These results could have important implications for public health and the treatment and care of HIV-infected individuals in developing countries where nutritional deficiencies and access to potent antiretroviral combinations remain limited."

Immunace®, from Vitabiotics Ltd, is a patent-pending combination of micronutrients that has been specifically formulated to help maintain resistance to infection and optimal cell defence, helping maintain long-term immune defence at the cellular level. Immunace is available as a food supplement without prescription on the UK high street from larger Boots stores, health food stores and chemists, or purchased directly from Vitabiotics.

A full copy of the study, "A randomised trial of the impact of multiple micronutrient supplementation on mortality among HIV-infected individuals living in Bangkok," is published in the AIDS, November 21, 2003, Volume 17, Issue 17. (See AIDS online.)

Immunace®'s patent-pending formula contains vitamins, A, D, E, C, K and B complex vitamins together with natural carotenoids, amino acids, and minerals including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

Immunace® is classed as a food supplement in the UK. It is free from artificial colours, preservatives, gluten, starch, fat and yeast, and is produced under fully licensed pharmaceutical manufacture according to strict quality control. It was developed without testing on animals.

AIDS Statistics

  • People newly infected with HIV in 2002: 5 million
  • AIDS deaths in 2002: 3 million (over 8,000 deaths per day)
  • Estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2002: 42 million
  • Total of AIDS deaths at the end of 2002: 28.1 million
  • Total number of AIDS orphans: 13.2 million


UNAIDS & Vitabiotics Ltd. (www.vitabiotics.com).end-of-story


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