AIDS and Vitamin Supplementation

Vitamins and AIDS



by Andrew W. Saul


Question: What's the difference between decades of AIDS drug research and a truckload of Pentagon five-hundred-dollars-apiece hammers?


Answer: The public has received more honest value from the hammers.


It's been known since 1993 that nutrition stops AIDS better than any pharmaceutical drug. Yes, 27 years ago, a Johns Hopkins study (1) demonstrated that supplements slow AIDS, and even help halt it. The seven year long study of 281 HIV positive men showed that those taking vitamins had only about ONE HALF as many new AIDS outbreaks as those not taking supplements.


Imagine: a 50 percent reduction in AIDS cases just from vitamins!


The real wonder is that the dosages used were so small: only 715 milligrams of vitamin C a day, and about 5 times the US RDA of the B-vitamins and beta carotene. Larger, orthomolecular amounts would almost certainly save still more lives. Even so, Tang et al (1993) concluded that "The highest levels of total intake (from food and supplements) of vitamins C and B1 and niacin were associated with a significantly decreased progression rate to AIDS (as were) vitamin A, niacin, and zinc."


At about the same time, Jean Carper's nationally syndicated column (February 24, 1993) reported that "heavy doses of beta carotene pills, 180 mg a day taken for a month, boosted the immune functioning of HIV-infected patients." If you are therefore thinking that carrot juice may have more punch against AIDS than previously thought, you may be right. 


Today, right now, over 30 million of the world's people have AIDS. How many deaths have resulted from 16 years of nutritional inaction?


On July 1, 2004, reported from Harvard as if it were original news, a study by Fawzi et al (2) now ALSO found that vitamins cut AIDS deaths by 27% and slow the progression to AIDS by 50%. "Multivitamins also resulted in significantly higher CD4+ and CD8+ cell counts and significantly lower viral loads. . . Multivitamin supplements delay the progression of HIV disease."



But multivitamins are just the beginning. Robert Cathcart, M.D. in California treated AIDS patients with up to 200,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day. He found that even advanced AIDS patients live significantly longer and have far fewer symptoms.  Imagine what prompt, large doses of vitamin C might accomplish in a recently diagnosed HIV positive individual. 


Depressing indeed is the sentence of death implicit with the diagnosis of either cancer or "HIV positive". Go get medical treatment, yet expect to actually get little more than hope for a drug cure . . .eventually. But therapeutic nutrition? Of course not: that is typically considered medicine's poorest cousin. Today, almost no AIDS patient is offered carrot juice. Almost no AIDS patient is offered vitamin therapy, especially not 200,000 mg/day of vitamin C.



Pharmaceutical-fueled research conferences open and close with still no AIDS drug cure in sight. In July 2004, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS estimated the amount of money needed to treat the world's poorest AIDS patients will top $12 billion. Implicit in this prediction are two silent assumptions:


1)      treatment efforts will be continue to be pharmaceutically-based, and

2)      people will continue to eat highly-processed, nutrient-deficient diets

Yet “1” won’t work because drug therapy has been spectacularly ineffective in lowering either the spread or the mortality rate of AIDS. “2” won’t work because the Standard American Diet obviously hasn’t cured AIDS. High-dose nutrition research might. Just how much research has been funded to see how well really large doses of vitamins do fighting AIDS? Very little. Drug research, yes. But not megavitamin research. Any limited approach diminishes the humanity of AIDS sufferers to that of already-doomed pharmaceutical customers.

But it does not have to be that way. We can start here: since not everyone that is HIV positive ends up with full-blown AIDS, let’s ask why. If it is because some people have stronger immune systems, it is logical and essential to go out of our way to nutritionally build up the immune system of every AIDS patient. The body's natural defense system, so weakened by the AIDS virus, is highly dependent on that individual's diet. Any grade-school child can grasp that a weak immune system is much more likely to be due to a nutritional deficiency than to a drug deficit.


And to make it plain for educated grown-ups, we have 2004 Harvard research confirming what the 1993 Johns Hopkins study indicated: even very modest doses of nutritional supplements slow, or even help stop, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.


To the tune of 50%.


If there were a drug that did that, it would be trumpeted from every media rooftop.



The last thing the medical profession needs is to prove Voltaire correct when he bitterly commented that "Doctors give drugs of which they know little, into bodies of which they know less, for diseases of which they know nothing." Nutrition poses a tremendous threat to medicine and pharmacology. If large doses of vitamins can do a better job than drugs, then it is an embarrassment to health professionals who have maintained "you don't need vitamin pills; just eat a balanced diet."


It goes beyond this, though. When vitamins outperform drugs, then big money is at risk. Vitamin C powder costs less than $30 a pound. (You can find it at many health food stores or with a Google search.) Multiple vitamin pills cost just pennies each. Carrots grow in your garden. All are nonprescription. If these common nutrients work, they certainly cannot be patented by a drug company. No potential for profit? Then no interest or funding for research.


Yes, there is righteous need for urgency. For those that have already died from AIDS, it is too late for us to apply yesterday's research. For those dying from AIDS right now, tomorrow's research is too late.


Only one thing matters, and that is living results. Even the small amount of nutritional research done has shown more promise than heavily funded medical research. The public has been told to line up, wait for, and try out new high-risk, high-cost drugs as they come along. Up until now, that same public has been told to NOT try those "dangerous" vitamins. There is a bolt loose here somewhere. For the HIV positive individual, and certainly for the AIDS patient, it must be "any port in a storm."



Dr. Foster’s book, What Really Causes AIDS, provides an original theory for the causes and therefore the treatment of AIDS. It also describes a nutritional strategy to halt the AIDS pandemic.


It would seem that it is high time for a major clinical trial of Professor Harold Foster's nutritional AIDS prevention protocol (3) of selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan. With every delay, AIDS patients suffer and die, and so many unnecessarily. It is time for a full-blown nutritional study for such a reasonable approach that has already shown promise in stopping full-blown AIDS.  The Foster treatment, which has been successfully field tested in Africa, was discussed in the DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS . You can download, free of charge, Dr. Foster’s 2006 paper, The Successful Orthomolecular Treatment of AIDS: Accumulating Evidence from Africa at )


I therefore ask my readers to please send a brief email to the editor of their local newspaper and respectfully urge its physician readers and the medical profession to conduct an extensive clinical trial of Dr. Harold Foster's four-nutrient (selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan) regimen to fight AIDS.


For further reading:



1. Tang AM, Graham NM, Kirby AJ, McCall LD, Willett WC, Saah AJ. Dietary micronutrient intake and risk of progression to acquired

immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected homosexual men. Am J Epidemiol.  1993 Dec



2. Fawzi WW, Msamanga GI, Spiegelman D, Wei R, Kapiga S, Villamor E, Mwakagile D, Mugusi F, Hertzmark E, Essex M, Hunter DJ. A randomized trial of

multivitamin supplements and HIV disease progression and mortality. N Engl J Med.  2004 Jul 1;351(1):23-32. 


3. Foster, H.D. What Really Causes AIDS.  Victoria: Trafford Publishing, 2002.



Copyright C 2020, 2009, 2004, and prior years Andrew W. Saul. 

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )



Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

Neither the author nor the webmaster has authorized the use of their names or the use of any material contained within in connection with the sale, promotion or advertising of any product or apparatus. Single-copy reproduction for individual, non-commercial use is permitted providing no alterations of content are made, and credit is given.

Last Updated:
Jan 2020


| Home | Order my Books | About the Author | Contact Us | Webmaster |