PMID: 11361953May 22, 2001Paper

Selected vitamins in HIV infection: a review

AIDS Patient Care and STDs
A M Tang, E Smit


In this article we review published studies on the role of serum micronutrient levels in the natural history of HIV infection. Specifically, we have focused on vitamins B12, E, A, and beta-carotene. Deficiencies of one or several of these vitamins have been associated with an accelerated progression of HIV infection to AIDS. Most investigators have used serum micronutrient levels as an indicator of vitamin nutriture. However, serum levels are not always the most sensitive or specific indicators of vitamin status. Nonetheless, serum vitamin levels are relatively easy to obtain and have been studied in various HIV-infected populations in individuals at different stages of disease. Low serum B12 levels have been associated with increased neurologic abnormalities, more rapid HIV disease progression, and increased AZT-related bone marrow toxicity. Low serum vitamin E levels have been associated with an increase in oxidative stress in HIV-infected individuals. However, early studies of vitamin E supplementation suggest that vitamin E may have important immunostimulatory properties. Studies of vitamin A deficiency in HIV-infected populations have shown that low serum vitamin A levels are associated with increased mortality, more rapid...Continue Reading


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