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Serum levels of antioxidant vitamins and mineral elements of human immunodeficiency virus positive subjects in Sokoto, Nigeria

Author(s): Bilbis Lawal | Idowu Dorcas | Saidu Yusuf | Lawal Mansur | Njoku Chibueze

Journal: Annals of African Medicine
ISSN 1596-3519

Volume: 9;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 235;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Antioxidant | HIV | Nigeria

Background : Undernourishment and micronutrient deficiencies exacerbate immunosuppression, oxidative stress, acceleration of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication and CD4 T-cell depletion in HIV-infected individuals. Materials and Methods : The current work reports the serum levels of antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C and E) and minerals (Zn, Fe, Cu) in 90 HIV positive subjects attending the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), Sokoto, Nigeria. The serum levels of the micronutrients were correlated with the CD4 count of the subjects. Results : The results showed that the HIV positive subjects have significantly lower (P < 0.05) levels of vitamins A, C and E. Also, serum Zn, Fe, Cu and CD4 count were also significantly (P < 0.05) lower compared with the HIV negative subjects. Micronutrient deficiencies were more pronounced in HIV positive subjects with CD4 counts less than 200 cell/μl. The results based on age and sex showed no significant (P > 0.05) difference. Vitamins A, E and C and Zn and Fe showed positive correlation with CD4 count of the HIV positive subjects. Conclusion : The results suggest that the HIV subjects in the study area have lowered serum levels of antioxidant micronutrients and that the levels decrease with increase in the severity of the infection. These may increase the chances of the symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects progressing into full-blown Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
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