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Nutrition and disease progression pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and post-HAART: Can good nutrition delay time to HAART and affect response to HAART
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Several studies have investigated a variety of nutritional supplementation interventions in adults with HIV. In this narrative review, we summarize the evidence from 31 clinical trials that explore clinical benefits of macronutrient and micronutrient supplementation in this population while attempting to answer the question of whether good nutrition can delay the time to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation and response. We focused on trials published in English between 1990 and 2010 that reported on CD4 count, viral load, and disease progression or survival. Among 9 macronutrient and 22 micronutrient trials, we found that evidence for improved CD4 count and HIV viral load with nutritional supplementation was limited; only 11.1% and 36.8% of macronutrient and micronutrient supplementation trials, respectively, reported improved CD4 count; and 33.3% and 12.5% of macronutrient and micronutrient trials, respectively, reported decreased viral load. Given their utility as surrogate markers of HIV disease progression, this suggests limited evidence for nutritional interventions having an impact on delaying HAART initiation or on improving HAART response. However, there are challenges in evaluating the effects of nutritional supplementation on clinical disease in that comparisons are difficult due to heterogeneity in study design, patient population, nutrient doses and combinations, baseline levels of deficiency, and study endpoints, including lack of clarity in defining and reporting HAART status. Future studies need to adopt a more rigorous standard design with adequate power and follow-up and require a consensus on composition and dose of nutrient interventions to be tested to more specifically answer the question on the impact of nutritional interventions on HIV disease progression and HAART response.
Chandrasekhar A, Gupta A. Nutrition and disease progression pre-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and post-HAART: Can good nutrition delay time to HAART and affect response to HAART? Invited Review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec; 94(6):1703S-15S. PMCID:PMC3226023