Sweet potatoes have been making their presence known in the culinary world, as the vegetable is considered to be significantly more healthy than the regular potato. For years, the health benefits of the sweet potato have been well known: It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. But now German and Tanzanian agricultural researchers believe the beloved sweet potato, specifically the kind with orange flesh, has another health benefit: the cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.
Grown in the Lake Zone regions like Tanzania, the orange fleshed sweet potato is rich in the CD4 compound, which plays a key role in boosting the immune system and decreasing CD4 levels in patients with HIV. Additionally, the researchers discovered that the orange fleshed sweet potatoes have an abundance of Vitamin A. And perhaps the best part is that no matter how you prepare the sweet potatoes--whether you fry, boil or mash--the health benefits and nutritional properties are not effected.
Recently, researchers from University of Florida and University of California, San Francisco discovered that the virus (FIV or feline immunodeficiency virus) that causes AIDS in cats can possibly be the cure for HIV in humans. "One major reason why there has been no successful HIV vaccine to date is that we do not know which parts of HIV to combine to produce the most effective vaccine," study corresponding author Janet Yamamoto, a professor of retroviral immunology at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a news release. "Surprisingly, we have found that certain peptides of the feline AIDS virus can work exceptionally well at producing human T-cells that fight against HIV," Yamamoto said, whose study was published in the October issue of the Journal of Virology.
Additionally, another groundbreaking finding this year uncovered that a key ingredient in Ciclopirox cream can hold the cure for HIV. In a study from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, the nail fungus treatment eliminated HIV, suggesting that patients would not need to take medications for the rest of their life. While the study is preliminary, the fact that the treatment is FDA approved for topical application suggests that approving the ingredient would be faster.