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Metabolism - Nutrients improve metabolism in HIV, help control lipids

Vitamin E improves liver function in HIV

Those living with human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) are more likely than healthy people to have severe liver disease, known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and there is no treatment. Earlier studies found vitamin E improved fatty liver in the general population.

In this study, 27 people with HIV and NASH took 800 IU of vitamin E per day while continuing antiretroviral treatment. After 24 weeks, a sign of liver function, alanine transaminase (ALT), improved significantly, and fatty liver levels and the rate of liver cell death declined.

Discussing the findings, doctors said the liver improvements after taking vitamin E were greater in this group of HIV participants than earlier studies had found in non-HIV populations.

Reference: AIDS; 2020, Vol. 34, No. 2, 237-44

Probiotics improve lipids and the microbiome

This study followed 70 men and women, average age 48, with average triacylglyceride and total cholesterol levels of 133.8 and 201.5 mg per deciliter of blood, respectively. Participants took a placebo or 800 mg of lactobacillus plantarum per day.

After 12 weeks, compared to placebo, lipid and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)—the “bad” cholesterol—levels were significantly lower six hours after a meal. A protein called apolipoprotein-B that makes up very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and LDL, was also significantly lower for those in the probiotics group.

Probiotics also improved the microbiome by reducing the amount of a bacterium in the gut, called Eggerthella spp, which is linked to higher triglyceride and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. Unlike LDL, doctors consider HDL cholesterol to be beneficial and protective.

Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 1, 255

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