Taking Vitamins May Stall HIV Progression
Eating multivitamins may help delay disease progression and illness in HIV patients, according to a new study.
Researchers found that 24-month supplementation with multivitamins plus selenium slowed the onset of symptoms for patients infected with HIV.
The latest study wanted to see whether specific supplemental micronutrients enhance the immune system and slow HIV disease progression during the early stages of the diseases in antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive adults.
Researchers recruited 878 HIV patients for the study. Participants were given either supplementation with daily multivitamins (B vitamins and vitamins C and E), selenium alone, multivitamins with selenium, or placebo for 24 months.
The findings revealed that patients who received the combined supplement of multivitamins plus selenium had a lower risk compared to placebo of reaching a CD4 cell count 250/µL or less. Patients in the combined supplement of multivitamins plus selenium group were also less likely to get a combination of measures of disease progression (CD4 cell count ≤ 250/µL, AIDS-defining conditions, or AIDS-related death, whichever occurred earlier).
"This evidence supports the use of specific micronutrient supplementation as an effective intervention in HIV-infected adults in early stages of HIV disease, significantly reducing the risk for disease progression in asymptomatic, ART-naive, HIV-infected adults. This reduced risk may translate into delay in the time when the HIV-infected patients experience immune dysfunction and into broader access to HIV treatment in developing countries," researchers said in a news release.
"These findings are important for many people infected with HIV, especially mothers who have more time to spend raising their children before they are affected by immune decline and illness," said lead researcher Marianna Baum, Professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at the FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, according to Medical Xpress. "This new insight is very accessible and applicable to all populations across the world."