FacebookTwitterDiggGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedinRSS FeedPinterest
Pin It

Vitamin A Increases HIV Virus in Breast Milk

Vitamin A and beta-carotene supplements are unsafe for HIV-positive women who breastfeed because they may boost the excretion of HIV in breast milk—thereby in­creas­ing the chances of transmitting the infection to the child, as 2 new studies suggest. Epidemiologist Dr. Ed­uardo Villamor of the Uni­versity of Michigan (U-M) School of Public Health said the transmission of HIV through breastfeeding happens be­cause breast milk carries viral particles that the baby ingests. Supplementing HIV-positive women with vi­tamin A and beta-carotene ap­pears to in­crease the amount of the virus in milk. This may be partly because the same nu­trients raise the risk of developing subclinical mastitis, an in­flammatory condition that causes blood plasma to leak into the mammary gland and viral particles to then leak into the milk, he said. Dr. Vil­lamor’s findings appear in 2 separate articles in the Amer­ican Journal of Clinical Nu­trition and the Journal of Nu­trition. The results are significant because they provide biological explanations for a previous report that supplementation with these nutrients increased chances of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
     “So there are now strong arguments to consider the im­plications of supplementation to pregnant or lactating wom­en who are HIV-positive,” said Dr. Villamor. “It does not look like it’s a safe intervention for them.” In one of the studies, 1,078 HIV-infected women were divided into 4 groups. The test groups received either 5,000 IU of vitamin A and 30 mg of beta-carotene every day during gestation and the lactation period, or a control regimen. The dose for beta-car­o­tene was higher than the amount usually provided by the diet, according to Dr. Vil­lamor. Smaller doses might not have the same effect.
(Source: U-M School of Public Health, August 26, 2010)


Dentistry Today is The Nation's Leading Clinical News Magazine for Dentists. Here you can get the latest dental news from the whole world quickly.

 

Sponsor Logos