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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Micronutrient and Probiotic Fortified Yogurt on Immune-Function of Anti-Retroviral Therapy Naive HIV Patients

Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Canadian Research & Development Centre for Probiotics, Lawson Health Research Institute, 268 Grosvenor Street, N6A 4V2, London, Ontario, Canada
Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Brescia University College, The University of Western Ontario, N6G 1H2, 1285 Western Road, London, Ontario, Canada
National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza Research Centre, P.O. Box 1462, Mwanza, Tanzania
Sekou-Toure Regional Hospital, P.O. Box 132, Mwanza, Tanzania
Departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Surgery, The University of Western Ontario, N6A 5C1, London, Ontario, Canada
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, WC1E 7HU, London, UK
Nutrients 2011, 3(10), 897-909;
Received: 18 August 2011 / Revised: 23 September 2011 / Accepted: 12 October 2011 / Published: 21 October 2011
PDF [195 KB, uploaded 21 October 2011]


Background: Micronutrient supplementation has been shown to reduce the progression of HIV but does not have an effect on the intestinal barrier or the intestinal microbiota of HIV patients. Studies have suggested that probiotics could potentially complement micronutrients in preserving the immune-function of HIV patients. Objective: Assess the impact of micronutrient supplemented probiotic yogurt on the immune function of HIV patients. Design: We performed a randomized, double blind, controlled trial with CD4 count as primary outcome among HIV patients naïve to anti-retroviral treatment. Secondary outcomes included hematological parameters, incidence of diarrhea and clinical symptoms. A total of 112 HIV patients were randomized to receive a micronutrient fortified yogurt with (n = 55) or without additional probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 (n = 57) for four weeks. Results: An average decline in CD4 count of −70 cells/μL (95% CI: −154 to −15) was observed in the micronutrient, probiotic group versus a decrease of −63 cells/μL (95% CI: −157 to −30) in the micronutrient control group (p = 0.9). Additional probiotic supplementation was well tolerated and not associated with adverse events. No difference between groups was detected in incidence of diarrhea or clinical symptoms. An improvement of hemoglobin levels was observed for all subjects, based upon a mean difference from baseline of 1.4 g/L (SD = 6) (p = 0.02). Conclusion: The addition of probiotics to a micronutrient fortified yogurt was well tolerated by HIV patients but was not associated with a further increase in CD4 count after one month. View Full-Text
Keywords: micronutrients; probiotics; HIV; Lactobacillus; immune system micronutrients; probiotics; HIV; Lactobacillus; immune system

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Hummelen, R.; Hemsworth, J.; Changalucha, J.; Butamanya, N.L.; Hekmat, S.; Habbema, J.D.F.; Reid, G. Effect of Micronutrient and Probiotic Fortified Yogurt on Immune-Function of Anti-Retroviral Therapy Naive HIV Patients . Nutrients 2011, 3, 897-909.

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