Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most widespread sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. When an HPV infection remains in the body, it has the potential to lead to serious health problems, including some types of cancer. Although there is no HPV treatment for the virus itself, certain nutritional supplements may help the immune system to suppress the infection naturally. Learn more about the following vitamins and supplements that may boost your immunity and help fight off HPV.
HPV has been strongly associated with cervical cancer. In fact, HPV is thought to be responsible for over 90 percent of cervical cancers, and more than 10,700 cases of cervical cancers are caused by HPV each year (1). So, if you’re wondering how to treat HPV, you may want to look into supplements that boost your cervical health.
Folate is a type of B-vitamin that appears to help protect against cervical cancer (along with other types of cancer, including colon, breast, pancreatic, and stomach cancer). (2) Although folate occurs naturally in many foods, you can also take a folate supplement called folic acid to boost your levels. While there’s no evidence that taking folic acid will prevent cancer, it may lead to better cervical health outcomes, making it a possible HPV treatment for women.
One of the most promising nutritional supplements that may help to treat HPV infections is a mushroom extract called AHCC. The natural, immune-modulating compound works by boosting the number and/or activity of cells designed to attack viruses, including natural killer (NK) cells.
In a pilot clinical trial at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, a number of women with HPV took AHCC daily for up to six months. The study showed promising results regarding long-term suppression of HPV infections (3). AHCC is one of the top nutritional supplements to consider if you’re interested in treating HPV naturally.
There’s a reason that doctors often suggest getting more vitamin C when you’re sick. It’s considered to be one of the best immune-boosting vitamins available, but the body doesn’t produce or store it. That’s why, in addition to getting vitamin C from foods like oranges, grapefruits, bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli, you may also want to take a vitamin C supplement to improve your health (4).
With vitamin C backing up your immune system, your body may be better able to suppress an HPV infection naturally. Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin C before you get a supplement since some people get a sufficient amount of this vitamin from food intake alone.
No combination of vitamins and minerals is proven to cure HPV. However, the nutritional supplements listed above are considered to be potential HPV treatments for men and women who want to try to suppress the infection naturally. You don’t have to wait for an HPV infection to occur to take immunity-boosting supplements. Consider adding these important vitamins and nutritional supplements to your diet starting today.
- How Many Cancers Are Linked with HPV Each Year?: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018.
- Vitamin B9 (Folic acid): Mount Sinai Health Library, 2019.
- Mushroom extract, AHCC, helpful in treating HPV: ScienceDaily, 2014.
- Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Health Professionals: National Institutes of Health, 2018.