Micronutrients and HIV-1 disease progression

Marianna K. Baum, Gail Shor-Posner, Ying Lu, Bernard Rosner, Howerde E. Sauberlich, Mary Ann Fletcher, Jose Szapocznik, Carl Eisdorfer, Julie E. Buring, Charles H. Hennekens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether nutritional status affects immunological markers of HIV-1 disease progression. Design: A longitudinal study, to evaluate the relationship between plasma levels of nutrients and CD4 cell counts, along and in combination with β2-microglobulin (β2M; AIDS index) over an 18-month follow-up. Methods: Biochemical measurements of nutritional status including plasma proteins, zinc, iron and vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 (cobalamin), A, E, C and folate and immunological markers [lymphocyte subpopulations (CD4) and β2M] were obtained in 108 HIV-1-seropositive homosexual men at baseline and over three 6-month time periods. Changes in nutrient status (e.g., normal to deficient, deficient to normal), were compared with immunological parameters in the same time periods using an autoregressive model. Results: Development of deficiency of vitamin A or vitamin B12 was associated with a decline in CD4 cell count (P = 0.0255 and 0.0377, respectively), while normalization of vitamin A, vitamin B12 and zinc was associated with higher CD4 cell counts (P = 0.0492, 0.0061 and 0.0112, respectively). These findings were largely unaffected by zidovudine use. For vitamin B12, low baseline status significantly predicted accelerated HIV-1 disease progression determined by CD4 cell count (P = 0.041) and the AIDS index (P = 0.005). Conclusions: These data suggest that micronutrient deficiencies are associated with HIV-1 disease progression and raise the possibility that normalization might increase symptom-free survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1056
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • Disease progression
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Nutrient status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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