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Important vitamins and minerals for people living with HIV/AIDS


Micronutrient Role Source
Vitamin A Makes white blood cells – essential for vision, healthy skin and mucosa, teeth and bone development. Protects against infection associated with accelerated HIV progression, increased adult mortality, increased mother to child transmission, higher infant mortality and child growth failure. All yellow and orange fruit and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, alfalfa, liveer, oily fish, dairy products and egg yolks
Vitamin B1
Important for energy metabolism, supports normal vision and nervous system functions Whole-grain cereals, beans, meat and poultry and fish
Vitamin B2
Important for energy metabolism, supports normal vision, health and integrity of skin Milk, yoghurt, meat, green leaves and whole-grain cereals
Vitamin B3
Essential for energy metabolism, supports health and integrity of skin, nervous and digestive systems Milk, fish, eggs, meat, poultry, peanuts, whole-grain cereals
Vitamin B6 Facilitates metabolism and absorption of fats and proteins, helps to make red blood cells Sweet potatoes, white beans, maize, avocados, cabbage, whole-grain cereals, seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, eggs, leafy green vegetables, alfalfa, bananas, legumes, meat and fish
Folate Required for building new cells, especially red blood cells and gastrointestinal cells Liver, red meat, green leafy vegetables, fish, oysters, legumes, groundnuts, oilseeds, whole-grain cereals, egg yolks and avocados
Vitamin B12 Important for new cell development and maintenance of the nerve cells Red meat, fish, poultry, seafood, sardines, cheese, eggs, milk, whole-grain cereals and seaweed
Vitamin C Helps the body to use calcium and other nutrients to build bones and blood vessel walls. Increases non-haem iron absorption. Increases resistance to infection and acts as an antioxidant. Important for protein metabolism. Citrus fruits (such as baobab, guava, oranges and lemons), cabbage, green leaves, tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, yams and cooking plantains. Vitamin C is lost when food is cut up, reheated or left standing after cooking
Vitamin E Protects cell structures and faciliates resistance to disease Leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, peanuts, egg yolks, dark green vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole-grain cereals