There are a number of natural treatments for cancer, some with more research or veracity, others with more folklore and anecdotal evidence. Alternative cures may vary from specific foods to the use of magnets, electric currents, enemas, etc. The improvement of nutritional support and the detoxification of the liver are, of course, important concepts in any medical treatment, but it is the type of infection, the immune support in the individual’s body, and the timing of treatment that preclude the infection’s spread and ability for the immune system to be improved (Highleyman, 2006) .
Medical Nutritional Therapy, however, is not designed to cure HIV or AIDS, and does not purport to do so. Instead, the idea has five-basic parts: 1) To optimize nutrition status, immunity, and quality of life; 2) To prevent nutrient deficiencies; 3) To achieve and maintain optimal body weight and composition; 4) To manage co-morbidities; and 5) To maximize, whenever possible, the effectiveness of medications (Medical Nutrition Therapy (Fenton, 2006). Unfortunately, one of the tendencies during the more serious stages of HIV infection is the lack of appetite and extreme malnutrition felt by most patients. Poor nutrition results in weight loss and weakness – then combined with an impaired immune system makes the individual increasingly vulnerable to opportunistic infections. HIV infection also impairs nutrient intake and absorption while increasing the body’s nutrient need. When one increases medication, it is typically difficult to feel hungry, and additional reduced food intake only exacerbates the issue (Nutrition and AIDS, 2011).
HAART programs also increase certain metabolic demands, causing a built-in deficiency for patients. In addition to metabolic changes, which often contribute to weight loss, hormonal deficiencies (testosterone or thyroid) often occur during HIV or AIDS; and cytokine dysregulation (cytokines mediate and control immune and inflammatory responses) increases the need for additional nutritive support in order to maintain a healthy immune system (Elenkov, et al., 2005).
Overall nutritional supplementation may be most effective when combined with exercise and either meditation or relaxation (biofeedback, etc.) therapies and should also include psychosocial support that helps the patient adhere to a nutritional regime. This regime should include:
• Food and water safety – ensure food is sanitized, bottled or filtered water, very important that food is fresh and not kept past fresh date or left unopened in refrigerator.
• Optimized nutrient and fluid intake – Most people do not drink enough water per day; it is particularly important that HIV patients drink in excess of 64oz. of water per day. This will provide fluid for tissues and flush excess toxins out of the body. This is particularly why pure water is necessary and why water, rather than sugared or caffeinated drinks, is preferred.
• Vitamin and mineral...