Written by Stacy Chbosky
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AIDS is the final stage of the disease, HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control, HIV becomes AIDS at the moment the patient's t-cell count, or CD4 cell count, drops below 200. Generally, at this time, a host of opportunistic infections attacks the body. When we say a patient dies of AIDS, we really mean that he dies of the opportunistic disease or diseases which take advantage of his weakened immune system.

The immune system is a remarkable, body-wide physical system. It is made up of many different organs, cells and tissues. A healthy immune system can face literally millions of different types of invaders, or germs. HIV and AIDS damage the immune system to the point where the body cannot stand up to even the most common of infections. Chronic infections, like chronic yeast infections, can be an extreme nuisance and source of discomfort and anxiety to HIV-carriers. Other infections can prove deadly.

Facing AIDS

Because AIDS and HIV attack the immune system, it's important for people with HIV and AIDS to do everything in their power to bolster and support their immune systems. This includes everything from avoiding stress and getting plenty of rest and water, to taking nutritional supplements. Antioxidants can be particularly helpful to those with compromised immune systems.

Doctors and scientists have been paying a great deal of attention lately to an antioxidant produced within the cells of the human body, known as glutathione. Glutathione is naturally occurring. However, in the bodies of seriously ill people, such as those with AIDS or cancer, glutathione levels are extremely low. Many doctors feel that taking supplements which promote glutathione growth can strengthen the immune system.

However, oral glutathione supplements are not effective, because glutathione is digested and broken down in the stomach, meaning very little actually reaches the bloodstream. It's important to take a precursor or building block of glutathione, and the most important of these is cysteine. Cysteine is best supplied by bioactive undenatured whey proteins. People with CFS can benefit from undenatured whey proteins that raise their glutathione back up to a normal, healthy level.

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