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AIDS Read. 2007 Apr;17(4):211-6, 223-7.

Dietary supplement use and nutrient intake in HIV-infected persons.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Dietary supplement use was assessed in 368 HIV-infected patients enrolled in the Nutrition for Healthy Living cohort. The objective was to describe the dietary, demographic, and health characteristics of the HIV-infected persons who use different types of dietary supplements. Each patient was categorized in 1 of 4 dietary supplement groups. Extremes in intake of micronutrients were common. Men and women who consumed no supplements reported inadequate intakes of a number of micronutrients. Men using nonvitamin/nonmineral (NVNM) supplements had diets higher in fiber, protein, and 13 of 14 vitamins and minerals. Almost 90% of male NVNM supplement users ingested 1 or more vitamins or minerals in amounts above the tolerable upper limit. Male NVNM supplement users were more likely to be white, well educated, and receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy and more likely to have higher annual incomes, higher CD4 counts, and lower HIV RNA levels. HIV-infected women who were using NVNM supplements exhibited similar trends. Micronutrient inadequacy and excess are relatively common in persons living with HIV infection. Practitioners need to judiciously address optimal nutrient intake from both diet and dietary supplements in this population.

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