Study: Calcium supplements can reduce AIDS-related diarrhea

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 01 2003 11:00 PM ET

A study presented at the 12th annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research shows that calcium supplements can help ease the diarrhea that is an adverse side effect of using protease inhibitors, the Community AIDS Treatment Information Exchange reports. Researchers at Ottawa General Hospital conducted a two-week trial among 17 patients to gauge the effectiveness of calcium supplements in reducing diarrhea. The study subjects had experienced protease inhibitor-related diarrhea for an average of three years. Researchers gave them calcium carbonate 500-milligram tablets twice a day, taken two hours before or after taking protease inhibitors. On average the patients reported having one-third fewer episodes of diarrhea daily when taking the supplements. No adverse side effects from the calcium supplements were reported. Larger studies are planned.