AIDS wasting syndrome as an enterometabolic disorder: the gut hypothesis

Altern Med Rev. 1998 Feb;3(1):40-53.


There is an interesting relationship between the HIV virus, the health of the gastrointestinal tract, and AIDS wasting syndrome, involving Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF alpha), specific and non-specific immunity in the gut, gut permeability, and oxidative stress. It is hypothesized that the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS may be impacted by maintaining a healthy gut. A therapeutic protocol which decreases oxidative stress, inhibits TNF alpha, enhances phase I and II liver detoxification, and improves specific and non-specific immunity in the gut should be part of a therapeutic protocol for HIV-infected individuals. Through a better understanding of the pathophysiology of HIV advancing to AIDS, the practitioner can develop a treatment strategy of nutritional and lifestyle changes which could theoretically prevent an HIV infection from advancing to full-blown AIDS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Digestive System / immunology*
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation
  • HIV Infections / diet therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology*
  • HIV Wasting Syndrome / immunology
  • HIV Wasting Syndrome / metabolism
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology


  • NF-kappa B
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha