Role of Nutrition in Hiv Patients

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The nutrition that goes into your mouth, for both nourishment and nutrients supplements, can have an incredible effect for those wishing to live long and with HIV. By improving your nutrition, you can enable your body to battle HIV while in the meantime to improve your personal satisfaction. We looked at three nutrition that affects Health of a patient infected with HIV. The nutrients that we focused on was iron, selenium, and Vitamin A.When looking at the papers it showed that if infected by disease it affects each nutrient in some type of way or form. They conducted experiments by assessments, CD4+ count, and drawing blood to see the concentration. When comes selenium we saw it was a problem for more women than men. That could be from drug use talked about in that section. They did experiment with heroin user to see the effect selenium in their urinary When it comes to iron you need it transport oxygen, it results they saw concertation hinder when stopping binding iron molecule to transferrin. The extracted blood from 80 patients with HIV to compare iron levels. Vitamin A helps the kids from developing any deficiencies, especially iron deficiency Introduction Many people think that HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the same STD (sexually transmitted diseases) as AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome ) but it is not. HIV is the virus that could turn into AIDS if improperly treated. "When you are affected by HIV, you may experience flu-like symptoms within 2-4 weeks after initial infection. Some of the symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and mouth sores. Most of the time these symptoms could last several weeks. If one does not seek the proper medication the disease can multiply faster than expected [1].

The clinical latency stage is when the HIV is still active within the body but reproduces at lower levels. Secretly, however, HIV is invading the body and assaulting its protection of the body. While levels of the infection in the blood might be low, about unnoticeable sometimes, HIV has turned out to be to a great degree active in the body's lymph framework. In any case, patients who take antiretroviral treatment (ART) may live with clinical inactivity for quite a few years [1]. Usually for HIV-positive individuals to have different nutrient deficiencies, even at an early stage over the span of infection. A scientist has announced that in the children and grown-ups, insufficiencies of zinc, selenium, and iron (which are all vital for an intact immune response) are basic in HIV-positive individuals, even before their immune system gets harmed. scientists have additionally announced that these insufficiencies seem to speed illness progression and that replenishing these nutrients: B-6, B-12, and zinc can really help support CD4 (T4 cell) count. Numerous different scientists have announced that insufficiencies of glutathione and other critical cell antioxidants (Vit C, E, & mineral selenium) are normal. This is most likely the fact that one of the body's reactions to infection is the production of unstable molecules, for the most part, they are called "free radicals," which are expected to destroy infections and other disease-causing germs [2].

These free radicals serve as an immune response needed however after their goal is completed, they should be countered by antioxidant nutrients, so they can stop a chain response that could somehow or another harm the body. Supposed "oxidative stress results when deficient antioxidants are available to counter oxidative stress to cells and tissues in the body. Scientists have demonstrated that oxidative stress is common in both HIV disease and hepatitis C and is a factor in the progression of the two infections[2]. Keeping ideal optimal of cell levels in the body is significant to reduce oxidative stress and anticipate body harm. The measure of this oxidative damage increase from the get-go in HIV disease and will, in general, worsen after some time. BACKGROUND What is so special about this connection to HIV and nutrition. One of the researchers mainly focuses on the role and impact of micronutrients. Most people do not know what micronutrients are or what they do for you. Micronutrients required in trace amounts for the normal growth and development of living organisms.

An example, of how important micronutrients is iron because it helps carry oxygen through the body. The researchers wanted to see micronutrients deficiencies with people who are positive for HIV. There is some evidence that micronutrient intakes at the level of the RDA may be insufficient for HIV-infected individuals since low circulating micronutrient concentrations have been reported in HIV-infected adults with dietary intakes greater than the RDA for various micronutrients. People who are HIV positive show inadequate dietary intake of micronutrients and low circulating micronutrient levels[3]. The study that was conducted with various HIV positive groups that showed low serum or plasma micronutrient concentrations. The nutrients that had low intake were vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, and zinc. HIV patients with low serum or plasma micronutrient, usually the disease progression since the decline of intake of nutrients [3]. The patients' stage of HIV disease, as well as their treatment and diet, varied widely, which would affect the impact of micronutrients. These many differences make it very difficult to draw firm conclusions about the impact of micronutrient supplementation, especially for individual micronutrients. In figure 1 it shows you the steps of the cycle, which shows micronutrients and HIV infection infected each other. Figure 1 [3] I feel like the weaknesses in this paper were that they talked about too many nutrients instead of just focusing on the main ones that were the topic of the paper.

Also, there were too many studies all over the place with different group. I'm all for different subjects and places where they were conducted it at. I wish they would of went more detail into vitamin A but only information it gave was if you increase vitamin A you will increase child health so they will not get deficiency[4]. Some questions I have are: Is malnutrition just when you get to AIDS or you can it HIV. Micronutrient when explaining weight -loss did not get into any of the hard science when explaining how they are linked. Another nutrient that is very important is Selenium because it's important for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection. The study that was done on selenium was Heroin users had low urinary Se levels which suggested that dietary Se intake is low or that absorption is impaired in injection drug use[5]. Sharing IV needles or tattoo equipment contaminated by the virus means that all the users of those needles will have the virus as well.

This would increase the oxidative stress that is connected to an injection drug. Female gender was found to be a predictor of poorer nutritional status in HIV-infected injecting drug users, and also predicted decreased serum selenium levels, which was confirmed by several researchers [5]. Higher serum selenium status was associated with lower rates of mental decline in AIDS-related dementia, improved mood, and improved self-assessed quality of life[6]. The weakness of this article were the graphs they were very hard to understand, which made the results difficult also. The author was very good going into detail about selenium, but I felt like he jumps all the way into science by giving the nutritional background on this nutrient. They definitely made real life apply with their experiment with heroin user to see the different Se levels in their waste. They never identify what type of participating they were going to use like either man or woman; child or animal. The author never said if drug user or person with HIV that got it from panther, who has better Selenium levels. Are you feeling tired, fatigue, sleepiness, or lack of energy? If you had any of those symptoms, you might not have enough iron in your body because it transports oxygen in your body. The red blood cells are made in the bone marrow to produced oxygen so it can be carried to the lungs and rest of the body. The body uses an iron-containing protein called hemoglobin to get the job done. Red blood production depends on a hormone called erythropoietin to make sure red blood cells keep getting made so we can live [7].

Although iron stores may decline in early asymptomatic HIV infection probably because of impaired absorption, they may, however, increase with progression of the disease as iron accumulates in the macrophages and other cells[8]. HIV infection has a big effect on iron because the drugs to treat it like ART damage the iron in the body, but that comes with side effects of this drug. This experiment that was done on HIC and Iron shows that iron may be an increase or decrease depending on the stage of the disease. They took 80 patients for this experiment, who were newly diagnosed HIV-1 positive, and at different stages of the disease. The did two screening to see which ones where HIV-1 or HIV -2. They collected the samples with needles and put 10 milliliters test-tubes. The test they used was CD+4 T-lymphocyte to see the concertation of how much iron was in each sample. Figure 3 shows the concentration of iron in each blood sample.

Basically, it is informing us that iron is very low in HIV positive people because of iron being overload which stops iron metabolism to be able to flow through the body. Figure 3[9] High plasma iron and body iron stores have the capability of promoting free radical and oxidative stress by means of the well-known Fenton/Haber Weiss response [9]. The different metabolic confusions incline HIV patients to metabolic acidosis [9] which advances decreased binding of iron molecules to transferrin with a resultant increase in serum-free iron. This article was more a review than an into depth article which does make it hard to obtain consecutive information on iron at various phases of the disease. There was no association of iron status with served of the disease in any other studies, which make these nutrients limited to what we could know. If we understood Hepcidin production and how iron metabolism interacts with HIV, then maybe we could further are evidence.


It could be inferred that HIV and nutrition are strongly correlated when it comes to nutrients you need to survive with the disease. The papers that were review showed that you need selenium, iron, and Vitamin A to survive. Selim showed us that you need this nutrient to protect your body from damage, and DNA production. Iron showed the production of oxygen that is needed to body but if affected by disease it decreases the red blood cells that help carry the oxygen. Vitamin A helps reduce anemia, which is iron deficiency, and you don't want that at all. If you don't have any of this nutrition, your disease will progress from HIV, which will put someone in malnutrition stage. Now, each nutrient is different in a different stage of HIV because it depends on nutrient needed. We wanted you making sure the HIV positive patient does not go into malnutrition stage which means it more complicated to have the disease under control. To prevent going into malnutrition ones should be started counseling and education on disease immediately. Food supplement is given to patients that are have pasted malnutrition stage, and are not able to process appropriated food choices [10]. All in all, we need nutrients to stay alive and especially for people living with HIV, nutrition is a very important part of your ability to obtain the best quality of life you can get.


  1. Alshahrani, A. (2016). Approvals, pricing, and coverage of human immunodeficiency virus antiretroviral drugs in the united states (Order No. 10746564). Available From ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2046234644).
  2. Itinoseki Kaio, D. J., Rondí?, P. H., Luzia, L. A., Souza, J. M., Firmino, A. V., & Santos, S. S. (2014). Vitamin E concentrations in adults with HIV/AIDS on highly active antiretroviral therapy. Nutrients, 6(9), 3641-52.
  3. De, S., & Semba, R. D. (2010, December). Role of nutrition in HIV infection: Review of evidence for more effective programming in resource-limited settings.
  4. Rose, A. M., Hall, C. S., & Martinez-Alier, N. (2014). Aetiology and management of malnutrition in HIV-positive children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 99(6), 546.
  5. Baum, M. K., Shor-Posner, G., Zhang, G., Lai, H., Quesada, J. A., Campa, A., . . . Page, J. B. (1997). HIV-1 Infection in Women Is Associated With Severe Nutritional Deficiencies. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, 16(4), 272-278
  6. Stone, C. A., Kawai, K., Kupka, R., & Fawzi, W. W. (2010). Role of selenium in HIV infection. Nutrition reviews, 68(11), 671-81
  7. shor-Posner, G., Campa, A., Zhang, G., Persaud, N., Miguez-Burbano, M., Quesada, J., Baum, M. K. (2000). When Obesity Is Desirable: A Longitudinal Study of the Miami HIV-1??“Infected Drug Abusers (MIDAS) Cohort. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 23(1), 81-88.
  8. Banjoko, S. O., Oseni, F. A., Togun, R. A., Onayemi, O., Emma-Okon, B. O., & Fakunle, J. B. (2012). Iron status in HIV-1 infection: implications in disease pathology. BMC clinical pathology, 12, 26.
  9. Thuppal, S. V., Jun, S., Cowan, A., & Bailey, R. L. (2017). The Nutritional Status of HIV-Infected US Adults. Current developments in nutrition, 1(10), e001636.
  10. Veinot, T. C., & Harris, R. (2011). Talking About, Knowing About HIV/AIDS in Canada: A Rural-Urban Comparison. The Journal of Rural Health, 27(3), 310-318.
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Role Of Nutrition In Hiv Patients. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved June 23, 2024 , from

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