Health Blog | Surgery & Proteolytic Enzymes

Proteolytic Enzymes and HIV

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Currently, there are five HIV protease inhibitors approved by FDA for the treatment of HIV infection.

Question:

Jon recommends taking pancreatic enzymes (which include proteases) with every meal. I have HIV and am on a HAART regimen that includes Protease Inhibitors. Are we talking about the same thing here? Would it not be detrimental to my HAART regimen to take an enzyme with something that the medications work to inhibit?

Answer:

Actually, I recommend taking digestive enzymes (which include proteases) with meals, and a systemic proteolytic enzyme formula between meals, which is slightly different. It is important to use precise wording here, because it actually matters.

Proteolytic enzymes, or protease is an overall descriptive term to describe the myriad of enzymes that work on proteins. Most proteases are very specific, and work on very specific bio-chemical reactions. In other words, protease, depending on how it’s used, can be either an overall or a specific term.

For example, currently, there are five HIV protease inhibitors approved by FDA for the treatment of HIV infection. These medications work at the final stage of viral replication and work to prevent HIV from making new copies of itself by interfering with the HIV protease enzyme (a very specific protease enzyme). As a result, the new copies of HIV are not able to infect new cells.

The digestive and systemic proteolytic enzymes that I recommend are not related to the HIV protease enzyme – other than the fact that they too work on proteins. But absolutely, check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your HAART regimen.

Maybe this will help. Protease is a bit like the word transportation. Under that overall term, we have everything from walking to driving to sky-diving to “beaming” in Star Trek – sharing only one thing in common: they get you from here to there, but through entirely different means.

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