The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D and mother-to-child transmission of HIV

    hiv-aidsThere is preliminary evidence of an association between low vitamin D blood levels and a higher risk, according to this study at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

    First, the details.

    • 884 HIV-infected pregnant women participated in a vitamin supplementation study.
    • The primary objective was to assess pregnancy outcomes and child mortality.
    • In addition, the researchers looked for a relationship between vitamin D blood levels and the risk of pregnant women transmitting HIV to infants during delivery.

    And, the results.

    • A low maternal vitamin D level (less than 32 ng/mL) was associated with a significant 50% higher risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV at 6 weeks.
    • There was a significant 2-fold higher risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV through breast-feeding among children who were HIV uninfected at 6 weeks.
    • There was a significant 46% higher overall risk of HIV infection.
    • Children born to women with a low vitamin D level had a 61% higher risk of dying during the next 2 years.

    The bottom line?
    If supported by rigorously designed studies, “vitamin D supplementation could prove to be an inexpensive method of reducing the burden of HIV infection and death among children, particularly in resource-limited settings,” concluded the authors.

    10/6/09 22:31 JR

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