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April 26, 2006

Glutathione Peroxidase - Selenium, Aminoacids Overcome AIDS

According to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

"new clinical reports from Zambia, Uganda and South Africa indicate that AIDS may be stopped by nutritional supplementation. A number of members of the medical profession have observed that high doses of the trace element selenium, and of the amino acids cysteine, tryptophan, and glutamine can together rapidly reverse the symptoms of AIDS, as predicted by Dr. Harold D. Foster's nutritional hypothesis."

Yet, all the money for fighting AIDS is pumped into expensive and largely useless anti-retroviral drugs, which have been shown to cause the very symptoms that they are supposed to "treat".


Aids activists ask more drugs

Selenium is a mineral in the soil that gets taken up by plants grown for food use - and is an important anti-microbial nutrient. Areas that have low selenium concentrations in their soil are more likely to have high incidence of AIDS. It has been proposed in China to tackle both AIDS and the Bird Flu at the root by increasing the selenium content in food and animal feed.

Why can our health officials not look at this important breakthrough and try large scale supplementation? Certainly the cost would be ridiculous compared with the anti-retrovirals and the potential benefit - real prevention - would provide ample pay-back in no time.

Here is the recent piece from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service...

- - -

HIV Depletes Body of Selenium and Three Amino Acids

(OMNS, April 26, 2006) New clinical reports from Zambia, Uganda and South Africa indicate that AIDS may be stopped by nutritional supplementation. A number of members of the medical profession have observed that high doses of the trace element selenium, and of the amino acids cysteine, tryptophan, and glutamine can together rapidly reverse the symptoms of AIDS, as predicted by Dr. Harold D. Foster's nutritional hypothesis. (1)

These nutrients are necessary for the human body to produce the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is strongly antiretroviral (it is an antagonist of reverse transcriptase) and can greatly reduce HIV replication. Unfortunately, HIV has developed the ability to compete with the body for these four nutrients because shortages of them allow its more effective replication. Specifically, HIV has a gene that allows it to produce an analogue of glutathione peroxidase.

Diets high in selenium, cysteine, tryptophan and glutamine seem to have two major benefits for AIDS patients:

1) They replace these four nutrients in the body, correcting the deficiencies HIV has caused. AIDS is what we call these combined deficiency symptoms.

2) High levels of these four key nutrients push up the body's glutathione peroxidase levels, making it much more difficult for HIV to replicate. This enzyme also beneficially interferes with the replication of Hepatitis B and C. Nutritionally treated patients are still HIV-positive, but seem to generally remain in good health unless they start to eat a diet that once again is poor in one or more of these nutrients. If this occurs, glutathione peroxidase levels fall, HIV begins to be replicated and the AIDS cycle begins again.

Some countries or regions, like Senegal and Bolivia, have been very fortunate. Their bedrock is naturally elevated in selenium and their diets are normally high in the three amino acids. As a result, they are rarely infected by HIV. Others, like Finland, have wisely mandated the addition of selenium to their fertilizers, with similar results. In contrast, some regions like Kwazulu Natal have bedrock and soils that contain little selenium and diets are poor in one or more of the key nutrients. For example, corn (maize) is low in both selenium and tryptophan. As a result, populations eating a great deal of corn are easy to infect with HIV and die very quickly of its associated nutritional deficiencies (AIDS).

To halt AIDS, to stop HIV from replicating, the needed nutrient levels are high. Selenium, for example, is taken at several times the commonly recommended daily allowance for the first month. Dosage is considered in more detail in "What Really Causes AIDS." (2) This book is available for free reading and downloading at .

What is Orthomolecular Medicine?

Linus Pauling defined orthomolecular medicine as "the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body." Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Bradford Weeks, M.D.
Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., Editor. Email:


1. Foster HD. How HIV-1 causes AIDS: Implications for prevention and treatment," Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 62(4), p 549-553, 2004.

2. Foster HD. What really causes AIDS. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2002. Free download at .

For further reading:

"HIV/AIDS: a nutrient deficiency disease," Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2005, Vol. 20(2), p 67-69.
Environmental factors and the pathogenesis of selenium-CD-4 cell tailspin in AIDS. Chinese Journal of AIDS and STD, Vol. 10(5), p 390-392,402 2004.

AIDS and the selenium-CD4T cell tailspin," World Journal of Infection, Vol. 3(6), p 456-459, 2003.
Micronutrients in pathogenesis and treatment of AIDS," Foreign Medical Sciences: Section of Medgeography, Vol. 24(2), p 49-53, 2003.

Why HIV-1 has diffused so much more rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa than in North America. Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 60(4), p 611-614, 2003.

"How HIV-1 kills: Implications for the treatment and prevention of AIDS. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, No. 255, p 76-78, 2002.

"Aids and the 'selenium - CD4T cell tailspin': the geography of a pandemic," Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, No. 209, p 94-99, 2000.

- - -

Cal Crilly has some more data on aids and selenium:

Hello to you all,

This may be of interest and is a very cheap and non toxic way to address AIDS.

I believe the Selenium effects HIV via two mechanisms. Higher Selenium levels will create Glutathione, this is cell protective and simply reduces T-cell turn over by protecting cells from antioxidant damage.

The other is because of Methylation. HIV and all our own retroviruses are suppressed by Methylation and this is done with a Selenium compound called S-Adenosylmethionine or SAMe.

If Selenium levels drop both Glutathione and SAMe are reduced causing cell damage and hypomethylation of the genome. This causes HIV levels to rise. AIDS drugs such as AZT cause hypermethylation of the genome and inhibit HIV but are toxic. SAMe is cheaper, more effective and non toxic in the doses required. Links to relevant articles are below.

Selenium may help lower HIV levels

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Selenium supplements can slow the rise in virus levels in HIV-positive patients, which allows the number of beneficial CD4 immune cell to increase, according to results of a clinical trial supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Low blood levels of selenium have been linked to high HIV virulence and more opportunistic infections, Dr. Barry E. Hurwitz and associates at the University of Miami in Florida report in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In lab experiments, the element suppresses HIV-1 replication.”

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, January 22, 2007.
Selenium may help lower HIV levels

Cerebrospinal fluid S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and glutathione concentrations in HIV infection: effect of parenteral treatment with SAMe.

"The methylation and transsulfuration pathways are intimately linked and have been implicated in the progression of neurologic damage and immune cell depletion caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We studied the following metabolites related to these pathways: S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), homocysteine, cysteine, cysteinyl-glycine, and glutathione (GSH) in blood and CSF of 16 HIV-infected patients with neurologic complications and 20 HIV-negative control patients undergoing lumbar punctures for other medical reasons. We confirmed recent studies of decreased CSF SAMe concentrations in HIV infection and demonstrated that diastereomers of SAMe are present in CSF but not in plasma or erythrocytes from both HIV-infected and HIV-negative patients. In HIV-infected patients, CSF GSH and cysteinyl-glycine, but not homocysteine or cysteine, were significantly reduced. This is the first report of decreased CSF GSH induced by HIV infection. GSH has a regulatory effect on the synthesis of SAMe in hepatic tissue, and the same mechanism may also apply in the CNS. Administration of SAMe-butanedisulphonate, 800 mg/d intravenously for 14 days, was associated with significant increases in CSF SAMe and GSH. These findings have potentially important therapeutic implications for the use of SAMe in protecting against SAMe and GSH deficiency in the CNS of HIV-infected patients.”

- - -

Harold Foster is doing trials in Africa with Selenium and it would be good to observe his work.

- - -

A Nutritional Solution to AIDS and Other Viral Pandemics

- - -

Glutathione and growth inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in healthy and HIV infected subjects

"Intracellular levels of glutathione are depleted in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in whom the risk of tuberculosis, particularly disseminated disease is many times that of healthy individuals. In this study, we examined the role of glutathione in immunity against tuberculosis infection in samples derived from healthy and human immunodeficiency virus infected subjects. Our studies confirm that glutathione levels are reduced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in red blood cells isolated from human immunodeficiency virus-infected subjects (CD4>400/cumm). Furthermore, treatment of blood cultures from human immunodeficiency virus infected subjects with N-acetyl cysteine, a glutathione precursor, caused improved control of intracellular M. tuberculosis infection."

Cal Crilly

See also:

New trading patterns blamed for selenium intake decline
... average intake of selenium in the UK has fallen from 60 to 34 micrograms per day. The European recommended daily intake (RDI) is 65 micrograms ... geographical studies ... have shown a consistent trend for populations with low selenium intakes to have higher cancer mortality rates. And a study carried out in France ... which followed a group of 1,389 elderly volunteers to for a period of nine years, found that those with low selenium diets were considerably more likely to die from cancer than those with high selenium diets.

Selenium supplements may contribute to reduced HIV viral load
"The intervention resulted in no adverse events related to the study supplement," the authors write. The two groups had similar selenium levels at the beginning of the study, but after nine months of treatment, the average change in blood selenium level was greater in the treatment group. Higher blood selenium levels predicted a decreased HIV viral load, which in turn predicted increased CD4 count.

"The exact mechanism by which selenium exerts its effects on HIV-1 viral replication is not known, although the literature suggests several possibilities," the authors write. One hypothesis holds that selenium's antioxidant properties may repair damage done to immune cells by oxygen, which is produced at higher levels in the bodies of patients with HIV. However, future research is needed to confirm this relationship.

Selenium pills 'may combat HIV'
The University of Miami found a lower HIV viral load in patients who took selenium supplements for nine months. Selenium deficiencies have been recorded in HIV patients, and evidence suggests the mineral can improve the function of the immune system.

Selenium for AIDS - CBC Interview
(taken off YouTube)
CBC interview with Norman Sartor, HIV positive, who takes Selenium and amino acid supplements in accordance with discoveries by Dr Harold Foster, author of "What really causes Aids", a freely downloadable book.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday April 26 2006
updated on Tuesday December 21 2010

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

I believe that the so called AIDS patients in Africa are a group of people who suffer oxidative stress that is sufficient to cause the white blood cells to produce polymer actin that is not recognized as "self" and the body produces an autoimmune response to that polymer actin (see: Are Malnutrition and Oxidative Stress the Cause of gp41, gp120 and gp160 in Robert Gallo's HIV Isolate? ( and selenium deficiency is a chronic factor in this oxidative stress.

It is therefore an expectation that the selenium based natural antioxidants that form an important part of the bulwark of the body's antioxidant defense mechanism and optimal aerobic cellular function is compromised and their bodies are also low on vitamin C. In the event of a common tropical disease like malaria or even a flu, the natural antioxidant defense mechanism is further weakened and the resulting oxidative stress during such illnesses exert sufficient oxidative stress on the white blood cells and as the vitamin C levels in these cells decline, they produce polymer actin which is not normally produced in healthy individuals.

When the cell wall suffers oxidative injury through lipid peroxidation, any virus present as a harmless bystander easily enters the cell wall and takes control of the cell that is already low (below 60%) in glutathione on account of low selenium intake. It weakens the electron transport system so much that antibody production is compromised.

There is no evidence of a specific virus, isolated in accordance with the gold standard, that targets and attacks the immune system and disables it. In evolutionary biology, there has never been such a virus. It is oxidative stress resulting from a combination of specific nutrients, toxins from diseases such as malaria or oxidative stress due to chemicals such as benzene, talc and silicone as lubricants, widespread use of immunotoxoc or immunosuppressive medication and rise in atmospheric pollutants that weakens and disables the immune system. Clearly, as pointed out by some researchers, AIDS is multifactorial in causation but that causation funnels into oxidative stress on the white blood cells in particular and the body in general where mDNA depletion produces chronic fatigue.

Prolonged suppression of the immune system through oxidative stress and its late effects, opens the body to opportunistic infections.

Chronic fatigue or tiredness and muscle pains as a common symptom in AIDS patients also suggests oxidative damage to the mitochondrial biomembranes and transport of molecules across this membrane.

From the foregoing, it would be interesting to design a study in Africa that uses high selenium intake together with a cocktail of three fruit juices (orange, guava and papaya) to which is added one teaspoonful of coconut oil. This supplement is to be administered twice daily for thirty days.

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (not long chain fatty acids) including lauric acid, capryllic acid and caproic acid. These three fatty acids are also found in human breast milk.

This diet supplement is aimed at scavenging free radicals in the watery medium as well as in the fat medium and will help restore biomembrane stability and consequently biomembrane functional integrity. It will simultaneously improve glutathione levels more rapidly and improve immune function. It will also improve liver function and possibly raise HDL levels as well.

Before AZT became a medication, if you were to inhale it, you might have to be treated for toxic exposure!

In contrast, the administration of a toxic poison like AZT that was labelled as "toxic by inhalation" the suggested approach is food-based and it makes better sense as an antioxidant medication that is in harmony with optimizing cellular function to restore health.

I hope some research group takes up this suggestion and report on the findings. And it should help drive the point that a nutritionally induced condition cannot be "cured" by toxic medication, especially one that increase lipid peroxidation and induces cancer cell formation and other conditions. Chemicals have specific effects. We all know that.

Hence, such a study will also help drive the point that specific foods (which are natural biochemicals that support the natural biochemistry to maintain life) do have specific roles in the human body and affects the human body and its health and can be medicine as well.

We know for instance that a lack of iron intake in food can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia and there is no need to take pharmaceutically prescribed iron tablets (that in excess and over time can cause kidney damage) but the condition improves by supplementing your diet with an egg and a glass of guava juice - ie foods rich in iron as well as selenium. Bioavailable iron consumed in the presence of natural antioxidants such as vitamin A and C, is a better option as both vitamins are important in the absorption of iron and its assimilation, while the natural vitamin C helps to recharge the iron in ionic form (Fe3+) and recycles it. So, food does have specific effects on health and since the biochemicals in food, such as the ions and the natural antioxidant work in an integrated fashion, overall health also improves. Again, it proves that food can be medicine and choosing the appropriate combinations as supplements is important. And that further supports the suggested nutritional cure for AIDS patients in Africa.

Posted by: BELDEU SINGH on April 28, 2006 05:04 PM


I have read about the deficiency in various aminoacids already. So this info is a confirmation of this fact. My source of info was the book "Your Body's many cries for water" Chapter 11, "New Ideas on Aids". But what about the correlation of HIV and AIDS. I have good reason to believe, that there is no at all. There are to many cases with this socalled AIDS-diseases without the presence of HIV. It cannot be ignored. Who agrees with me?

Posted by: Hermann Krause on May 1, 2006 04:36 AM


I have to point out what everyone may be missing
Our genome is made up of about 40% transposable elements in the DNA.
Transposable elements means they can move around.
These are kept in check by a thing called DNA methylation, if your DNA isn't properly methylated with the right nutrients then the transposons can move around.
The transposons include 8% retroviruses and one of them is called HERV-K and cross reacts with the HIV antibody test.
The main nutrient for methylation is a selenium compund called S-adenosyl-methionine.
Folic acid and Choline as well.
When you look at studies on HIV and our own retroviruses (my opinion is that HIV is normally in everyone's body) you find over and over again that Hypomethylation (lack of methylation) makes the retroviruses come out.
Or if you hypermethylate (over-methylate) they get suppressed.

"These results suggest that DNA hypermethylation of the HIV LTR may change the binding characteristics between LTR sequences and cellular proteins, thereby suppressing HIV LTR transcription and modulating viral expression.??
Inactivation of the HIV LTR by DNA CpG methylation: evidence for a role in latency

These studies show this phenomenon.

"Several cytidine analogs with known mutagenic capability were tested for their effects on DNA methylation and on induction of endogenous murine retrovirus. For each of the compounds tested it was found that DNA methylation was inhibited at the same concentrations that were required to induce virus expression. With each compound it was observed that increased dose levels produced an increase in the ability to inhibit methylation and an increase in the ability to induce virus.??

Effects of cytidine analogs on methylation of DNA and retrovirus induction.

CpG Methylation Directly Regulates Transcriptional Activity of the Human Endogenous Retrovirus Family HERV-K(HML-2)

The problem is that all illness including cancer, AIDS and the autoimmune diseases have an increase in retroviral expression so how can we tell if HIV is a transmitted retrovirus when all our own retroviruses come out when we are ill?
HERV-W, another of our retroviruses is also involved in pregnancy and this is why pregnant women in Africa are at risk from the HIV test.
Here it turns up in cancer but only because our DNA is hypomethylating.

L1 and HERV-W retrotransposons are hypomethylated in human ovarian carcinomas

This is one of the reasons why Glutathione a Selenium compound helps with HIV and cancer.
It is also cell protective.

"Intracellular levels of glutathione are depleted in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in whom the risk of tuberculosis, particularly disseminated disease is many times that of healthy individuals. In this study, we examined the role of glutathione in immunity against tuberculosis infection in samples derived from healthy and human immunodeficiency virus infected subjects. Our studies confirm that glutathione levels are reduced in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in red blood cells isolated from human immunodeficiency virus-infected subjects (CD4>400/cumm). Furthermore, treatment of blood cultures from human immunodeficiency virus infected subjects with N-acetyl cysteine, a glutathione precursor, caused improved control of intracellular M. tuberculosis infection.??
Glutathione and growth inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in healthy and HIV infected subjects.

"In AIDS patients, chronic inflammation and elevated levels of cytokines seem to be associated with lower levels of GSH: GSH levels decrease rapidly upon infection with HIV and continue to decline as the disease progresses. Investigators have shown that agents that increase intracellular levels of GSH inhibit HIV replication.??
Potential role of reduced glutathione as an antiviral agent

Now they knew as far back as 1991 that Glutathione stopped HIV but in this study they also mentioned AZT causes Glutathione depletion, this means AZT causes HIV expression and AIDS in the long run.
AZT only seems to work in the short term because it hypermethylates DNA.

"Azidothymidine causes functional and structural destruction of mitochondria, glutathione deficiency??
Suppression of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Expression in Chronically Infected Monocytic Cells by Glutathione, Glutathione Ester, and N-Acetylcysteine 1991

My thoughts anyway, thanks to Sepp.

Posted by: Cal Crilly on May 11, 2006 07:29 AM


I have come across many articles on Selenium plus Coco Nut oil. What is the scientific community doing to help AFRICANS reverse the AIDS Scourge. Give the dossages. Should we also trust the WHO. They seem to focus on money making /spending ventures that bring profits to multi nationals. Profit seem to overtake our efforts to fight infections.

Posted by: Muyatwa Muyatwa on May 27, 2006 02:59 PM


While I believe that undernutrition directly contributes to poor outcomes for HIV patients, and that multivitamin and antioxidant supplementation would be very beneficial, I am very concerned by your comment that anti-retroviral drugs are largely useless. You only need to look at the correlation between life expectancy in HIV patients in the industrialised world before and since HAART to know that they have had a large impact on sustaining life. True, many do have very nasty side effects but you just have to look at what happens to the viral load of patients who go off the anti-retroval medication to see what impact they have (viral loads shoot up when the drugs are stopped).

Posted by: Simone Jacoby on June 5, 2007 02:11 AM



let\'s see some real studies on the survival of AIDS patients, especially those who take therapy versus those who refuse it. Can you reference such studies?

Your suggestion that HAART improved survival of AIDS patients only proves that the cocktail (HAART) may be somewhat less toxic than what they got before (straight AZT) but it does not prove anything about basic survival rates of people who have been diagnosed to be infected with HIV.

The real interesting data to be brought out in the open would be rates of survival with only standard medical attention to any known \"traditional\" illnesses against survival rates of those receiving anti-retroviral treatment.

Posted by: Sepp on June 5, 2007 06:22 AM


Sepp, surveillance data clearly shows the improvement in survival rates in the post HAART era. A few examples below. Also check out the CDC website.

Continued improvement in survival among HIV-infected individuals with newer forms of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Lima VD, Hogg RS, Harrigan PR, Moore D, Yip B, Wood E, Montaner JS. AIDS. 2007 Mar 30;21(6):685-92.

Decline in the AIDS and death rates in the EuroSIDA study: an observational study.
The Lancet, Volume 362, Issue 9377, Pages 22-29
A. Mocroft, B. Ledergerber, C. Katlama, O. Kirk, P. Reiss, A. Monforte, B. Knysz, M. Dietrich, A. Phillips, J. Lundgren

Palella FJ, Delaney K, Moorman A, et al. Declining morbidity and mortality among patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus infection. N Eng J Med 1998;338:85360.

I am not clear on what your last sentence is referring to. As HIV has such a broad-ranging effect on the body, effecting may organ systems, to try to compare it, and the effects of HAART, to any given \'traditional\' illness would be like comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by: Simone Jacoby on June 6, 2007 08:50 PM


So there are no studies that compare survival rates of those who do not receive treatment (or who receive treatment only for the traditional illnesses that are said to be Aids-related in the presence of a positive test) with those who receive treatment - either by AZT or by the newer HAART.

If HAART showed improved survival, that means it is less toxic than straight AZT and of course survival rates improve. Less toxic treatment = improved survival.

My idea is that those who REFUSE treatment with anti-retrovirals and who change their lifestyle to remove risk factors (mainly drugs) from their lives and start a proper nutritional regimen are better off than those who are treated with anti-retrovirals.

In that sense, it would be interesting to compare survival rates of those people (life style changes) with the ones that are being conventionally treated (with anti-retroviral drugs).

Apparently however, such studies are sadly lacking. There is no interest to perform them. No money in simple nutrition or life style changes.

Posted by: Sepp on June 7, 2007 05:18 AM


There are studies that compare delaying the start of ART vs starting ART earlier. An ethics committee would not approve a study that does not give all patients the opportunity to receive ART bacause of its proven efficacy in prolongong life and decreasing AIDS-related illnesses.

They results which show HAART resulting in improved survival is compared to not receiving any ART, not comparing it to AZT. You seem to be very fixated on this. AZT is hardly ever used as a mono-therapy anymore because, as you say, it does have a bad toxicity profile.

I agree that that those who have a healthy lifestyle and diet will do better than those who have have an unhealthy lifestyle and poor nutrition. This will more than likely help them delay the need for ART. Many people however just want the perceived easy option which is going for the drugs rather than changing lifestyle and diet.

I also agree that there is not money to be made in investigating simple nutrition so, unless someone does a masters or PhD looking at lifestyle and diet vs ART on survival rates, this sort of study will not get up.

Posted by: Simone on June 7, 2007 09:56 PM


I think that HIV may exist or maybe not, the important thing here is how to stop it, I think the selenium therapy is something very good combined with a good nutrition, exercise, and avoid recrational drugs which is proved to decrease the immune system and its functions.

Posted by: Paulo on December 30, 2007 10:14 AM


Thank god I have found this information out thank you ,

Posted by: tony rippon on April 30, 2009 08:57 PM


The link btw gp120 & HERV-K is quite strong:

see the book chapter below:

This supports your view very well, since several cancers are also mentioned above.

HERV-K, the C2/C5 domains of
gp120 and other lentiviruses are conserved :

Posted by: AMC on July 20, 2010 05:03 AM


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