Effects of vitamin E and C supplementation on oxidative stress and viral
load in HIV-infected subjects.
AIDS 1998 Sep 10;12(13):1653-9 (ISSN: 0269-9370)
Allard JP; Aghdassi E; Chau J; Tam C; Kovacs CM; Salit IE; Walmsley
SL Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
OBJECTIVES: The HIV-infected population is known to be oxidatively stressed
and deficient in antioxidant micronutrients. Since in vitro replication
of HIV is increased with oxidative stress, this study assessed the effect
of antioxidant vitamin supplementation on lipid peroxidation, a measure
of oxidative stress, and viral load in humans. DESIGN: A randomized placebo-controlled,
double-blind study. METHODS: Forty-nine HIV-positive patients were randomized
to receive supplements of both DL-alpha-tocopherol acetate (800 IU daily)
and vitamin C (1000 mg daily), or matched placebo, for 3 months. Plasma
antioxidant micronutrient status, breath pentane output, plasma lipid
peroxides, malondialdehyde and viral load were measured at baseline and
at 3 months. New or recurrent infections for the 6-month period after
study entry were also recorded. RESULTS: The vitamin group (n = 26) had
an increase in plasma concentrations of alpha-tocopherol (P < 0.0005)
and vitamin C (P < 0.005) and a reduction in lipid peroxidation measured
by breath pentane (P < 0.025), plasma lipid peroxides (P < 0.01)
and malondialdehyde (P < 0.0005) when compared with controls (n = 23).
There was also a trend towards a reduction in viral load (mean +/- SD
changes over 3 months, -0.45 +/- 0.39 versus +0.50 +/- 0.40 log10 copies/ml;
P = 0.1; 95% confidence interval, -0.21 to -2.14). The number of infections
reported was nine in the vitamin group and seven in the placebo group.
CONCLUSION: Supplements of vitamin E and C reduce oxidative stress in
HIV and produce a trend towards a reduction in viral load. This is worthy
of larger clinical trials, especially in HIV-infected persons who cannot
afford new combination therapies.