Effects of Antioxidants on CD4 and Viral Load in HIV-Infected Women in Sub-Saharan Africa - Dietary Supplements vs. Local Diet

Charité Medical Centre Berlin, Germany.
International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research (Impact Factor: 0.85). 02/2012; 82(1):63-72. DOI: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000095
Source: PubMed


In sub-Sahara Africa, micronutrient deficiency, especially of antioxidant micronutrients including vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, and polyphenols is very common in HIV-positive patients. Amongst adults, women are the most vulnerable. Antioxidants are known to play a vital role in the immune system, reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is induced by excess production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), due to the HIV infection. Such damage may be prevented or moderated through adequate oral intake of antioxidants, scavenging ROS, as well as protecting cells and tissues against oxidative stress. Antioxidants can be provided to the body through locally available antioxidant rich-diets such as fruit-and-vegetable-based diets and/or dietary supplements. Provision of antioxidants through local diets or dietary supplements exercise beneficial effects on biological markers of the immune system (CD4 and viral load). However, while dietary supplements represent a costly and short-term strategy to limiting antioxidant deficiency, local diets, combined with adequate nutritional education, can provide a low-cost and long-term strategy to reduce oxidative stress, prevent micronutrient deficiency, and slow down HIV disease progression. The former can be applicable in countries around the West, Central, and South coast of Africa, which are rich in natural food resources. In contrast with significant evidence that dietary supplements confer benefits in HIV patients, fewer data are available relating to the benefits of local diets. Thus the need to do more research in this area arises. This review compares available data on effects of antioxidants on CD4 and viral load in HIV-positive women noneligible for antiretroviral therapy. Intake of antioxidants though dietary supplements and local diet, associated with nutritional education, is compared. Studies conducted in sub-Sahara Africa are considered.

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    • "In a recent study in sub-Sahara Africa, micronutrient deficiency in HIV-positive patients was observed particularly for vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc, as well as polyphenols especially in women [7]. Children alongside adults in Africa are the group in risk to the HIV infection. "
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    • "HIV and undernutrition negatively affect each other in a vicious circle [9]. In particular, the deficiency of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants plays a critical role in the progress of HIV [10]. However, a review of high-dose micronutrient trials has not shown sufficient evidence to revise the WHO recommendation endorsing an intake at generally recommended dietary amounts [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary supplements are often used to improve the nutritional status of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). Arthrospira platensis (Asp), also known as Spirulina, is a cyanobacterium rich in proteins and micronutrients. Cell and animal trials described immune-modulating, antiretroviral and antioxidant activities. This pilot study describes the effects of the supplementation of 5 g/day of Asp on a pre-highly-active antiretroviral therapy (pre-HAART), HIV-infected, adult female population. It was conducted as a three-month randomized controlled trial (RCT) that compared a cup supplementation of five grams/day of Asp with a placebo of equal protein content and energy. The study included 73 HIV-infected women. The immediate outcome variables were CD4 T-cells, viral load and immune activation by CD8 T-cells expressing CD38. The antioxidant status was assessed by way of the total antioxidant capacity of the serum (TAOS). The renal function was documented by way of creatinine, urea and the calculated glomerular filtration rate. Statistical analyses were carried out with non-parametric tests, and the effect size of each interaction was calculated. No differences in the immunological and virological markers between the Asp and the placebo group could be observed. In the placebo group, 21 of 30 patients (70%) developed concomitant events, while in the Asp group, only 12 of 28 patients (43%) did. Both groups registered a significant weight increase; 0.5 kg (p < 0.05) in the Asp group and 0.65 kg (p < 0.05) in the placebo group. The antioxidant capacity increase of 56 (1-98) µM for Asp was significantly different from the decrease observed in the placebo group (p < 0.001). A slight increase in the creatinine level of 0.1 g/dL (p < 0.001) was observed in the Asp group, and no effect was observed in the urea levels. The improvement of the antioxidant capacity under Asp, shown for the first time on PLHIV, could become a focus for future research on the nutritional and health effects of Spirulina. The observed slight, but significant increase of serum creatinine needs further evaluation, especially with varying doses of Asp.
    Nutrients 07/2014; 6(7):2973-86. DOI:10.3390/nu6072973 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Generation of free radicals has been implicated in the depletion of the antioxidant stores and progressive loss of CD4+ T helper cells, which is indicated by the significantly lower levels of vitamin C obtained in our test subjects. In this study, the fact that CD4+ T cell counts correlated positively with the antioxidant levels [Table 3, and supplementation with antioxidants such as zinc and selenium have been shown to improve the immune status in HIV-1 patients supports their usefulness as adjuvants to antiretroviral therapy [31-34]. However, the low antioxidant status observed in our study can also be attributed to generalized cachexia, nutrient malabsorption and diarrhea commonly found in HIV-1 infections. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There had been conflicting reports with levels of markers of iron metabolism in HIV infection. This study was therefore aimed at investigating iron status and its possible mediation of severity of HIV- 1 infection and pathogenesis. Method Eighty (80) anti-retroviral naive HIV-1 positive and 50 sero-negative controls were recruited for the study. Concentrations of serum total iron, transferrin, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), CD4+ T -lymphocytes, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and transferrin saturation were estimated. Results The mean CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell counts, serum iron, TIBC, transferrin saturation for the tests and controls were 319 ± 22, 952 ± 57 cells/μl (P < 0.001), 35 ± 0.8, 11.8 ± 0.9 μmol/l (P < 0.001), 58.5 ± 2.2, 45.2 ± 2.4 μmol/l (P < 0.005) and 68.8 ± 3.3, 27.7 ± 2.2%, (P <0.001), respectively, while mean concentrations of vitamin C, zinc and selenium were 0.03 ± 0.01, 0.3 ± 0.04 (P < 0.001), 0.6 ± 0.05, 11.9 ± 0.26 μmol/l (P < 0.001) and 0.1 ± 0.01, 1.2 ± 0.12 μmol/l (P < 0.001) respectively. Furthermore, CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell count had a positive correlation with levels of vitamin C (r = 0.497, P < 0.001), zinc (r = 0.737, P < 0.001), selenium (r = 0.639, P < 0.001) and a negative correlation with serum iron levels (r = −0.572, P < 0.001). Conclusion It could be inferred that derangement in iron metabolism, in addition to oxidative stress, might have contributed to the depletion of CD4+ T cell population in our subjects and this may result in poor prognosis of the disease.
    BMC Clinical Pathology 12/2012; 12(1):26. DOI:10.1186/1472-6890-12-26
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