Some HIV medicines can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, damaging multiple organs in the body.

Mitochondrial dysfunction is blamed for some comorbidities associated with chronic HIV infection. MitoQ reduced mitochondrial dysfunction in HIV infected mice on ART.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It consists of a combination of several antiretroviral drugs that suppress replication of the virus. Although HIV cannot be cured with ART, it helps HIV patients to live longer and healthier, as well as reduces the risk of HIV transmission. Hence, everyone who has HIV is advised to start taking antiretroviral drugs as soon as possible. However, antiretroviral therapy (ART) can lead to some unpleasant side effects, which may vary from person to person. While short-term side effects (such as nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, rash) usually get better within a few days or weeks, some side effects may last longer and pose serious health risks.

Some HIV medicines can cause mitochondrial toxicity, damaging multiple organs in the body, including your heart, brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. Other long-term side effects associated with Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV include weight gain, higher cholesterol or triglyceride levels (which can raise heart disease risk), high blood sugar, liver damage (hepatotoxicity), loss of bone density, muscle aches, and liver failure. HIV itself can also contribute to organ damage, triggered by inflammation and immune dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction is known to be the culprit.

However, you should not stop taking Antiretroviral therapy (ART), unless your doctor tells you to stop. There are ways to manage the side effects of HIV medicines, while your doctor will be able to guide you, based on the symptoms and problems you’re facing.

MitoQ supplement reverses detrimental effects of HIV and ART

A new study has suggested that MitoQ, a readily available dietary supplement, may help reverse the detrimental effects caused by HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART).

MitoQ (Mitoquinone mesylate) is a powerful antioxidant that protects mitochondria, the power generators of the body’s cells, which in turn supports smooth functioning of organs and healthy ageing. This dietary supplement is also being tested for treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that MitoQ can reverse the detrimental effects that HIV and antiretroviral drugs have on mitochondria in the brain, heart, aorta, lungs, kidney and liver. However, the study was conducted on mice.

First, they showed that ART caused mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and gut of HIV infected mice. The mice were then treated with MitoQ for 90 days and found improvement in mitochondrial function in these organs.

The researchers noted that while the humanized mice do not exactly recreate HIV infection in humans, the preclinical findings could support clinical trials of MitoQ in people with HIV.

MitoQ is readily available for use and is known to be safe in humans. However, UCLA researchers warned against its use for treatment of any conditions associated with HIV infection, until its effectiveness is proven in clinical trials.

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Post source: The Health Site

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