World Journal of AIDS, 2013, 3, 287-291 Published Online September 2013 ( 287
Dramatic Improvement in Physical Well-Being of Terminal
AIDS Patients Following Administration of Phytochemicals
Maria de las Mercedes Lavandera Díaz1, Felix Antonio Cruz Jiminian1, Ruben Wernik2,
Walter Franklin Goldman2, Gadi Borkow2*
1Cruz Jiminian Foundation, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; 2Immune Nutrition Incorporation, Rehovot, Israel.
Email: *
Received July 25th, 2013; revised August 15th, 2013; accepted August 22nd, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Maria de las Mercedes Lavandera Díaz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Com-
mons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work
is properly cited.
Phytochemicals (PHT) are biologically active chemicals produced by plants, non-essential nutrients, with medicinal
properties. In this shor t communication we report the dramatic i mprovement in the physical an d clinical well-being of 9
terminal AIDS patients that received Phyto V7, a PHT mix, for a period of 3 months. All patients living in the Dr. Cruz
Jiminian Foundation (hospice) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, were in an emaciated condition—most could
not eat, sit down, shower, stand up or dress alone; all had high viremia (from ~50,000 to above 500,000; 243,816 ±
176,724 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml) and very low CD4+ T-cells counts (142 ± 51 counts/mm3). The clinical status of all pa-
tients was C3 according to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) status index. As antiretroviral treatment
was not available to the Foundation at the time of the study, the only treatment that they received was Phyto V7 sup-
plementation. Each individual received 5 tablets 3 times a day, each tablet containing 750 mg of Phyto V7. At the end
of the 3 months, Phyto V7 supplementation radically improved the well-being of all 9 patients. All patients could eat, sit
down, shower, stand up and dress alone. This study supports the notion that PHT supplementation can improve sig-
nificantly the well-being of terminally ill AIDS patients and is the foundation to conducting further control studies to
substantiate this notion.
Keywords: Phytochemicals; HIV-1; AIDS
1. Introduction
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) taken by
HIV-1 infected individuals results in viremia control and
reduced mortality [1,2]. However, HAART may have
significant toxic side effects, such as hepatotoxicity, li-
podystrophy, pancreatitis, hyperlipidemia, lactic acidosis
and insulin resistance [3-5]. In many cases the well-being
of the HIV-1 infected HAART treated patients is not im-
proved, no immune reconstitution occurs, and/or they
suffer from other complications [2,3,6]. In addition, low
compliance results in treatment failure and development
of resistant v iruses that are harder to control [2,7]. HAA RT
is relatively expensive and in many developing countries,
where the rates of HIV-1 infection are extremely high,
antiretroviral treatment is not universally available or not
fully implemented [8-10].
Terminally ill AIDS patients suffer from significant
weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, pain and wasting
[11]. The resting energy expenditure in AIDS patients is
20% to 30% higher than that in asymptomatic HIV-1 in-
fected individuals and non-HIV infected individuals [12-
16]. HAART treatment and viremia control do not neces-
sarily improve the patient’s well-being. Specific diets have
also been found to reduce HA AR T rel at e d side effect s [17] .
Furthermore, micronutrients supplementation has been
shown to increase CD4+ T-cell counts and reduce morta-
lity in HIV-infected individuals [18-24]. The use of can-
nabis (marijuana) by AIDS patients has been reported by
some to improve the appetites, mood, body weight and
the quality of life of AIDS patients, but long-term data,
showing a sustained effect and safety in patients have not
yet been conducted [25]. Thus, other beneficial, safe and
inexpensive treatments, which can improve the well-be-
ing of AIDS patients and be given with or without
HAART treatment, are being sought.
Phytochemicals (PHT), chemical compounds that oc-
*Corresponding a uthor.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. WJA
Dramatic Improvement in Physical Well-Being of Terminal AIDS Patients Following Administration of Phytochemicals
cur naturally in plants, beside serving as bionutrients [26,
27], possess radical scavenging activities [28], enhance
nonspecific immunity [29], down regulate inflammatory
diseases [30], promote health and may inhibit disease
progression [31-37]. Here we report that the sole admini-
stration of Phyto V7, a phytochemical mix, to terminally
ill severely symptomatic AIDS patients significantly im-
proved their well-being.
2. Report
The study was conducted with 9 patients (Table 1) living
at the Dr. Cruz Jiminian Foundation House (hospice),
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, between June and
September of 2001. All patients were previously diag-
nosed as being HIV-1 positive with very high viral loads
(mean ± standard deviation of 243,816 ± 176,724 HIV-1
RNA copies/ml; minimum–50,875, maximum–> 500 , 00 0 ).
Eight out of the nine patients were scored as C3 and one
as C2, according to the United States Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) status index. The CD4+ T-cell counts of
only 4 patients was known as determined elsewhere (18,
32, 71 and 45 counts/mm3) and no further measurements
could be made or were available to the Foundation.
Seven out of the 9 patients were antiretroviral naïve pa-
tients. Two had previously been treated with antiretrovi-
rals elsewhere, but apparently developed resistance and
failed the treatment. They arrived to the Foundation se-
veral months after stopping antiretroviral treatment. None
were taking antiretroviral treatment while living in the
Hospice, as it was not available to the Foundation then.
Following the donation of the Phyto V7 in the form of
tablets (registered in the Dominican Republic Ministry
and in other countries as a food supplement), and follow-
ing approval by the Min istry of Health of the Dominican
Republic, each patients received 5 tablets 3 times a day,
each tablet containing 750 mg of PHT.
None of the patients at the commencement of the study
could eat or shower alone. Only 2 out of the 9 patients
could dress and sit alone and 3 could stand up alone ini-
tially (Figure 1). However, after 30 to 45 days of Phyto
Table 1. Characteristics of patients at the beginning of the study.
Patient# Age Sex CDCa VLb CD4c Flagsd Antiretroviral treatment
201 28 F C3 91826 NDe N
f; Lg; Ah; Ani; Cl Stopped previous to study
202 33 F C3 181042 18 N; Em; Lyn; Mo; C Naive
203 16 M C3 159850 45 N; E; Ly; C; Top Naive
204 33 F C3 500000 32 N; L; A; An; Dq Naive
205 43 M C3 334341 ND E; L; Ly; A; An ; C Naive
206 43 M C3 59963 ND N; L; A; D Naive
207 29 M C3 500000 71 T; D; C Stopped previous to study
208 40 M C3 316446 ND N; A; Ly:E Naive
209 44 F C2 50875 ND N; L; Tor Naïve
aCenter for Disease Con trol Scor e Index; bViral load-number of HIV-1 RNA copies/ml; cCD4+ T-Cells counts per mm3 blood; dClinical major problems; eNot
determined; fNeutropenia; gLeukopenia; hAnemia; iAnisocytosis; lCandidiasis; mEosinophilia; nLymphocytosis; oMonocytosis; pToxoplasmosis; qDiarrhea;
Before After
Before AfterBefore After
Before AfterBefore After
Figure 1. Improvement in the daily day activities of the studied patients.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. WJA
Dramatic Improvement in Physical Well-Being of Terminal AIDS Patients Following Administration of Phytochemicals 289
V7 supplementation, the well-being of the patients im-
proved dramatically, both physically and mentally. Their
appetite, mood, capacity to respond to the surroundings
and to perform daily activitie s improved dramatical ly: all
patients could eat, sit down, shower, stand up and dress
alone (Figure 1).
3. Discussion
Since the establishment of HAART, the prognosis of
HIV-1 infected individuals and AIDS patients has im-
proved significantly. However, treatment failure can oc-
cur immunologically, virologically, or clinically, signifi-
cant side effects occur and the salvage treatment options
are many times restricted (e.g. due to viral cross-resis-
tance) or are non-available [38]. HAART is also prob-
lematic to pregnant women and children [39,40]. In de-
veloping countries HAART may be even more harmful
because of the high prevalence of ailments such as ane-
mia, malnutrition, and co-in fections, such as tuberculo sis
[41]. Furthermore, since HAART is expensive and needs
good infrastructural support and control programs, it is
not available to multitude of patients, especially in de-
veloping countries [42]. Thus, new, non-expensive, safe,
easy to take, alternative or complemen tary remedies, that
can improve the patient’s well-being, are very attractive
for the treatment of individuals that fail HAART or anti-
retroviral naïve patients that can not get antiretroviral the-
rapy. A food supplement, such as the PHT examined in
this study, is extremely inexpensive as compared to
HAART. PHT are from a natural source. They have been
in the market for several years and have no adverse ef-
fects. Also, as opposed to antiretrovirals, since they do
not affect directly HIV-1, their uptake with low adher-
ence does not result in appearance of drug resistant vi-
ruses. Obviously, in order to increase their efficacy high
compliance is desired. The regimen used in this study, of
5 pills three times a day is not op timal, as taking 15 pills
a day, in addition to usually taking other treatments, is
cumbersome to the patients and personnel and may result
in low adherence. Better formulations should be devel-
oped in the future. Be as it may, it is clear that the ad-
ministration of the Phyto V7 improved very dramatically
the well-being of the patients. Unfortunately, no viral
load or CD4+ T-cell counts were taken from the patients
after the 3 months PHT supplementation, so it cannot be
determined if there was an improvement in the CD4
counts or reduction of viremia as a consequence of the
PHT supplementation. Future studies should carefully
examine this.
This study, while it was not a con trolled study, strong-
ly supports the notio n that Phyto V7 su pplemen tation can
improve significantly the well-being of terminally ill
AIDS patients. Part of their positive effects can be ex-
plained as PHT having radical scaven ging activities [28],
stimulating nonspecific immunity [29], and by down
regulating inflammatory responses [30]. We hypothesize
that 1) PHT supplementation can also improve signifi-
cantly the well-being of AIDS patients not necessarily in
terminally ill conditions, by improving the capacity of
the HIV-1 infected individuals to cope with the viral in-
fection, 2) PHT supplementation may potentially post-
pone the need to treat HIV-1 infected individuals with
HAART, postponing the potential complications associ-
ated with this treatment, and 3) HIV-1 infected individu-
als undergoing HAART and PHT supplementation would
have a better prognosis that those undergoing HAART
only. This study serves as the impetus to conduct further
studies with significantly larger cohorts of HIV-1 infect-
ed individuals and AIDS patients, to substantiate our hy-
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