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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 1999 Nov 1;22(3):253-9.

Randomized, controlled trial of caloric supplements in HIV infection. Terry Beirn Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS.

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Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Washington Regional AIDS Program, DC 20422, USA.



To compare the efficacy of three nutritional regimens in the prevention of weight loss.


A three-arm randomized controlled trial with primary outcome measure percent change in weight over four months.


A total of 536 patients with CD4 count <200 cells/mm3 and stable weight, defined as <5% weight loss as determined by a weight measurement 3 to 6 months before randomization were recruited at fourteen administrative units in the United States, each unit consisting of multiple primary care sites.


The three arms were 500 kcal daily of caloric supplement with peptides and medium-chain triglycerides plus a multivitamin and mineral supplement, 500 kcal of a caloric supplement with whole protein and long-chain triglycerides plus a multivitamin and mineral supplement, and a multivitamin and mineral supplement only.


There were no significant differences among the three regimens in the percent change in weight (p = .74) and body cell mass (p = .63). On average, 65% of the recommended 500 kcal/day of caloric supplements containing peptides with medium-chain triglycerides and 82% of the 500 kcal/day of the caloric supplement containing whole protein and long-chain triglycerides were consumed.


Caloric supplements do not promote increases in average weight or body cell mass in weight-stable, HIV-infected adults beyond that offered by a multivitamin and mineral supplement.

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