The Seaweed Gatherers, Paul Gaugin

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Iodine and Disease


Could iodine be effective in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS-associated
opportunistic infections?
Mamo JC, Naissides M.
Int J Infect Dis. 2005 Sep;9(5):292-3. Review.

Could iodine be effective in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS-associated
opportunistic infections?

Retroviruses share similarities in structure, genomic organization and replication and are associated
with immunodeficiencies. AIDS describes the most advanced stages of HIV infection and is
characterized by a progressive loss of the CD4+ helper subset of the T-lymphocytes resulting in
immune suppression, constitutional diseases and opportunistic infections. The feline
immunodeficiency retrovirus (FIV) has a clinical pathology not unlike that of HIV/AIDS, including AIDS-
related complexes and chronic immunodeficiency. In an uncontrolled case study, it was found that an
adult cat diagnosed with endstage FIV recovered within eight weeks of treatment with a daily oral
gavage of a commercially available iodine solution (tincture of iodine (2.5% w/v), 4 mg in 10 ml water,
three times daily). Moreover, for at least five years there was no further clinical evidence of disease
in this cat. The animal’s recovery may have been due to iodine’s broad spectrum therapeutic effect
on opportunistic infections, or possibly because of suppression of viraemia.

In HIV and FIV infection, viral load is dependent on the stage of infection, however it generally
predominates in cells of the reticulo-endothelial system. Iodine is commonly prepared in two forms:
conjugated with a cation, which is soluble in aqueous media, or complexed as two molecules which
has lipophylic properties. A number of studies have demonstrated that iodine, and in particular the
lipophylic form, possesses potent antiviral and microbiocidal properties in vitro. The triglyceride-rich
lipoproteins, including chylomicrons and very low-density lipoproteins, serve as an energy substrate
for inflammatory cells. It is our contention that the lipophylic form of iodine, when ingested orally, may
be particularly effective as a microbiocidal/ antiviral agent, because it would be incorporated into
chylomicrons, transported via thelymphatic system and be delivered to the cells ofthe reticulo-
endothelial system.


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