Potential effects of nutrient supplement on the anthropometric profiles of HIV-positive patients: complementary medicine could have a role in the management of HIV/AIDS

30 May 2019

This is a purposive open-ended study that consisted of a baseline, monthly and final measurements (at the end of nutrient supplementation) that lasted for six months. Anthropometric measurements (BMI, percentage fat, waist-to-hip ratio and lean body mass) were done at baseline, monthly and at the end of study (final measurement) using known standard methods. The Tlymphocytes subsets were determined using flow cytometer. Participants fulfilled certain criteria for inclusion in the study. At baseline, of the 35 patients recruited into the study, 32 (94.1%) showed a fat percentage below normal range. Twenty-four of the patients (68.6%) had body mass index (BMI) within normal range, while a greater percentage of the patients had a normal waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Of the 28 patients that completed the study, 26 (96.3%) reported a fat percentage of below 18.5%. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) between the fat percentage at baseline and end of the study in the whole group. The results showed that 19 (67.9%) of the 28 patients had a BMI within the normal range after nutrient intervention. There was a significant positive correlation between the BMI and fat percentage. At the end of the study, the CD4+ T-cell count showed no positive correlation with any of the anthropometric indices. The supplement showed no significant effect on the anthropometrics. Further study with large sample size is recommended to confirm supplement effect on the anthropometric profiles. The short duration of the study probably limited the positive trend of the supplement on the anthropometric profiles.