"Several human studies in immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients have identified macronutrient deficiencies as affecting progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and death.
"Although the mechanisms are not known, micronutrient deficiencies may exacerbate the oxidative stress induced by HIV. In addition, infection and its evolution likely lead to an increased requirement for nutritional micronutrients, especially antioxidants," scientists in Cuba report.
"To evaluate this," said the authors, "40 relatively healthy, institutionalized HIV-infected individuals were recruited for assessment before or 3 month after fresh fruit and vegetable supply were increased due to seasonal supply.
"Seven-day dietary records were recorded at the beginning (December) and end of the 3-month study period (March). Oxidative stress indices and CD4+, CD38+/CD8+, and CD95+ T-lymphocyte subsets were also measured at these times."
"No significant differences were found in calorie or protein intake across the study period, but vitamin A, C, and E intakes all increased. A number of redox indicators were modified (increase total antioxidant status, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione, and decrease: superoxide dismutase) during the study period.
"However," wrote L. Gil and colleagues at Hospital Havana, "no change in malondialdehyde, hydroperoxides, or DNA damage was noted but a significant reduction in CD38+/CD8+ relative count was seen."
Researchers concluded, "Within the context and limitations of this study, the increase of dietary fruits and vegetable intake for three months had some beneficial effects on nutrition, systemic redox balance, and immune parameters in HIV-infected persons."
Gil and colleagues published their study in International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research (Effect of increase, of dietary micronutrient intake on oxidative stress indicators in HIV/AIDS patients. Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 2005;75(1):19-27).
For additional information, contact L. Gil, Hospital Havana, Institute Pedro Kouri, Department Clinical Pharmacology, POB 601, Marianao 13, Havana, Cuba.
The publisher's contact information for the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research is: Verlag Hans Huber, Langgass-Strasse 76, CH-3000 Bern 9, Switzerland.
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