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Animal study suggests need to treat vitamin D deficiency before HIV treatment

Posted on: July 24, 2014   by  Jeff Nicklas


In a new study published in PLOS One, researchers determined, in rats, the effects that vitamin D deficiency has on complications associated with the HIV treatment drug, tenofovir.

Tenofovir [disoproxil fumarate (TDF)] is a drug used to help lower the viral load of HIV infection in the blood. While commonly used, TDF may increase the risk of long-term complications including kidney failure, high blood pressure, and increased oxidative stress.

Researchers are increasingly becoming interested in the role that vitamin D plays in HIV infection and how it interacts with the drugs commonly used to treat HIV. Regarding TDF, researchers found last year that the drug may interfere with vitamin D’s effects on parathyroid hormone and bone health.

Furthermore, vitamin D is associated with kidney health, regulation of blood pressure, and reduction of oxidative stress. This suggests that vitamin D may interact with TDF to reduce the risk of these complications.

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