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AIDS virus may be inhibited by vitamin C.

Two scientists at the Linus Pauling of Science and Medicine Institute at Palo Alto, California, have been conducting research together with Dr. Pauling in a search for a substance that could retard the growth of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) virus. They may have found one in vitamin C.

According to Dr. Rax J. Jariwalla, director of the program, vitamin C interferes with replication of the virus (HIV), the agent that is clinically associated with AIDS.

The study was prompted by a number of reports that the Institute had received from AIDS patients who had taken high doses of vitamin C and had experienced a marked improvement in their condition. A further basis for the research was earlier reports of vitamin C's effects on other viruses, including Rous sarcoma virus, a member of the retrovirus family, which includes HIV.

The effects of the vitamin were tested by Dr. Jariwalla and his co-workers into two different lines of infected antibodies (T-lymphocytes). In chronically infected cells, vitamin C helped to reduce (over 99%) the levels of transcriptase, an enzyme crucial to virus reproduction.

In freshly infected T-lymphocytes, vitamin C also blocked virus-induced cell fusion, a sign of early viral infection.

In view of these findings, Dr. Jariwalla said, it becomes important that clinical studies be undertaken to establish the value of larger doses of vitamin C in HIV - infected individuals and AIDS patients.

The Institute is a nonprofit organization. Since its inception, the Institute has conducted in-depth research on nutritional components, particularly vitamin C (ascorbate), in the management of cancer and other diseases.

In a series of studies, the efficacy of ascorbate has been assessed within whole organisms (in vivo) and in tissue culture (in vitro). A favorable anti-cancer effect has been found when ascorbate is taken within the wide range of well-tolerated human ingestion, but is much above the standard (RDA) dosage levels.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1992
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