Dr. Weeks’ Comments: HIV, like all infectious processes, is helped by the anti0inflammatory forces of black cumin seed. Here are some peer reviewed scientific articles:
Prolonged use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is associated with insulin resistance in HIV-1-positive patients. Small animal models that recapitulate the long-term effects of HAART may facilitate the identification of therapeutic agents to suppress these side effects. We investigated the protective effects of black seed oil (BSO) from Nigella sativa in Sprague-Dawley rats treated with a daily HAART regimen for 7 months. The antiretroviral drugs, consisting of nelfinavir (200 mg/kg), zidovudine (50 mg/kg), and efavirenz (20 mg/kg), were mixed with diet with or without BSO (400 microL/kg) supplementation. Significant increases in insulin and C-peptide levels were observed in HAART-treated groups, and concomitant BSO treatment reduced this hyperinsulinemia. Interestingly, HAART-treated rats showed reduced size of pancreatic islets that was not seen in BSO-exposed rats. In vitro studies showed that nelfinavir, alone and in combination with HAART, induced oxidative stress and decreased glucose-induced insulin production in INS-1 cells. Suppressed insulin production was restored in cells coexposed to either BSO or thymoquinone. Our findings demonstrated that chronic HAART may increase serum insulin levels by dysregulating both insulin production by beta cells and insulin action at the periphery. These deleterious effects may be prevented by dietary supplementation with BSO.
HIV-1 protease inhibitor induced oxidative stress suppresses glucose stimulated insulin release: protection with thymoquinone.
The highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) regimen has considerably reduced the mortality rate in HIV-1 positive patients. However, long-term exposure to HAART is associated with a metabolic syndrome manifesting cardiovascular dysfunction, lipodystrophy, and insulin resistance syndrome (IRS). The inclusion of HIV-1 protease inhibitors (PIs) in HAART has been linked to the induction of IRS. Although several molecular mechanisms of PI-induced effects on insulin action have been postulated, the deleterious effects of PIs on insulin production by pancreatic beta-cells have not been fully investigated and therapeutic strategies to ameliorate insulin dysregulation at this level have not been targeted. The present study showed that exposure to several different PIs, nelfinavir (5-10 microM), saquinavir (5-10 microM) and atazanavir (8-20 microM), decreases glucose stimulated insulin secretion from rat pancreatic beta-cells (INS-1). Nelfinavir significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and suppressed cytosolic, but not mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Nelfinvair also decreased both glutathione and ATP and increased UCP2 levels in these cells. Simultaneous treatment with thymoquinone (TQ) (2.5 microM), an active ingredient of black seed oil, significantly inhibited the effect of nelfinavir on augmented ROS production and suppressed SOD levels. Both TQ and black seed oil exposure increased glucose stimulated insulin secretion and ameliorated the suppressive effect of nelfinavir. The present findings imply a direct role of ROS in PI induced deleterious effects on pancreatic beta-cells. Our findings also suggest that TQ may be used as a potential therapeutic agent to normalize the dysregulated insulin production observed in HAART treated patients.