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AIDS. 1998 Jan 1;12(1):53-63.

A randomized double-blind controlled study of 6 months of oral nutritional supplementation with arginine and omega-3 fatty acids in HIV-infected patients. Swiss HIV Cohort Study.

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  • 1Division of Nutrition, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.



To evaluate the effects of an oral nutritional supplement enriched with two potentially immunostimulant compounds (arginine and omega-3 fatty acids) on the changes in food intake, body composition, immune parameters and viraemia in HIV-infected outpatients.


Six-month prospective randomized double-blind controlled study.


University hospital outpatient nutrition clinic.


Sixty-four HIV-infected outpatients with CD4 lymphocyte count > or = 10O x 10(6)/l.


All patients received a daily oral nutritional supplement (606 kcal supplemented with vitamins, trace elements and minerals). In addition, half of the patients were randomized to receive 7.4 g arginine plus 1.7 g omega-3 fatty acids.


Disease progression measured by AIDS-defining events, CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts, viraemia, tumour necrosis factor soluble receptors, nutritional status determined by anthropometric, bioelectrical impedance and dietetic assessment.


Fifty-five patients completed the protocol. Compliance with and tolerance of oral nutritional supplement during the 6-month period was excellent. In both groups of patients the following were found: total energy intake was transiently increased and then returned to baseline level; nitrogen/energy intake ratio was increased throughout the study; gain of body weight and fat mass were approximately 2 and 1kg, respectively, over 6 months, and were similar in both groups. In addition, CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts, viraemia, tumour necrosis factor soluble receptors remained statistically unchanged and were similar in both groups.


Enrichment of an oral nutritive supplement with arginine and omega-3 fatty acids did not improve immunological parameters. However, body weight increased in both groups.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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