Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No benefit from high-dose multivitamins seen for HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy

Date:
October 16, 2012
Source:
Harvard School of Public Health
Summary:
A new study suggests that for HIV patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV, there is no benefit from high- vs. standard-dose micronutrient supplementation -- and that, in fact, high-dose supplements may cause harm. The study is the first large randomized trial to look at how high-dose multivitamin supplementation affects clinical outcomes among people on HAART.

A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers suggests that for HIV patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV, there is no benefit from high- vs. standard-dose micronutrient supplementation -- and that, in fact, high-dose supplements may cause harm. The study is the first large randomized trial to look at how high-dose multivitamin supplementation affects clinical outcomes among people on HAART.

The study appears in the Oct. 17, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Previous studies have shown that high doses of supplemental micronutrients help HIV patients that are not receiving HAART reduce disease progression and death, thus prolonging the time before HAART initiation is needed. The HSPH researchers wanted to know if high-dose multivitamin supplementation would provide a similar benefit for HIV patients on HAART; although HAART undoubtedly has major benefits, recovery of the immune system is incomplete, and the risks of mortality and opportunistic infections remain high especially in the first few months after HAART initiation.

The researchers, including lead author Sheila Isanaka, research fellow in the HSPH Department of Nutrition, and senior author Wafaie Fawzi, professor of nutrition, epidemiology, and global health and chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at HSPH, studied a group of 3,418 patients with HIV who started HAART between November 2006 and November 2008 in seven clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Half of the patients received high doses of supplements including vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and vitamin E; the other half received standard doses at the recommended dietary allowance level for a median duration of 15 months.

The results showed that high-dose supplementation had no effect on several key measures that reveal HIV disease progression -- CD4 count, plasma viral load, body mass index, or hemoglobin level concentration -- and did not reduce death or disease progression risks for HIV-infected patients. In addition, the researchers found that high doses of multivitamins increased patients' risk of having elevated levels of ALT, an enzyme associated with liver problems and other serious conditions.

"Although the provision of high-dose vitamin supplements has been found safe and efficacious among HIV-infected patients not receiving HAART, the results from this study show that the safety and efficacy of nutritional interventions in the context of potent combination therapies such as HAART need to be further examined," said Fawzi.

"This study provides no clear evidence of a benefit of high-dose micronutrient supplementation compared to standard-dose supplementation in adults receiving HAART, but it highlights the need for further research on how micronutrient supplements can be better positioned alongside antiretroviral drugs to reduce morbidity and mortality due to HIV," said Isanaka.

Micronutrients are key factors in maintaining immune function and neutralizing oxidative stress, and future studies could examine whether micronutrient supplements might be of benefit if they are offered with food, or given in lower doses, or given only after HIV patients have acclimated to HAART therapy, she said.

Other HSPH authors included Donna Spiegelman, professor of epidemiologic methods in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, James Okuma, biostatistician, and Chalamilla Guerino, research associate in the Department of Global Health and Population.

Support for the study was provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (grant RO1 HD32257).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Isanaka S, Mugusi F, Hawkins C, et al. Effect of High-Dose vs Standard-Dose Multivitamin Supplementation at the Initiation of HAART on HIV Disease Progression and Mortality in Tanzania: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2012; 308 (15): 1535-1544 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.13083

Cite This Page:

Harvard School of Public Health. "No benefit from high-dose multivitamins seen for HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016163138.htm>.
Harvard School of Public Health. (2012, October 16). No benefit from high-dose multivitamins seen for HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016163138.htm
Harvard School of Public Health. "No benefit from high-dose multivitamins seen for HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016163138.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins