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J Infect Dis. 2007 Oct 15;196(8):1202-10. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol accelerates simian immunodeficiency virus disease progression.

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New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, MA 01772, USA.


Several lines of evidence suggest that dietary fat and cholesterol may play a role in the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and disease progression. We examined the effect that an atherogenic diet (AD) high in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol has on disease progression and systemic inflammation in the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaque model of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Macaques fed an AD had significantly more rapid disease progression, resulting in an increased risk of SIV-related death compared with that in control macaques (hazard ratio, 5.4 [95% confidence interval, 1.7-17.0]; P<.001). Peak viral load was higher in the AD group compared with control values, but further statistically significant differences were not detected at viral set point. The baseline plasma interleukin-18 level after 6 months of the AD was predictive of disease progression. Our findings may have important implications for HIV-infected individuals, because they suggest that dietary changes and manipulation of lipid metabolism could offer potential benefits by slowing disease progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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