Probiotic Yogurt Consumption is Associated With an Increase of CD4 Count Among People Living With HIV/AIDS

SL Irvine, Reinder Hummelen, S Hekmat, Caspar Looman, Dik Habbema, G Reid

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Aim: To evaluate the long term effect of yogurt supplemented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus Fiti on the immune function (CD4 count) of people living with HIV/AIDS. Background: Gastrointestinal infections and the leakage of microbial products from the gut have a profound impact on the deterioration of the immune system among people living with HIV/AIDS. Among persons not infected with the virus, probiotics can prevent gastrointestinal infections and restore an effective gut barrier, suggesting they might have a beneficial effect on the immune function of people living with HIV/AIDS. Study: We carried out an observational retrospective study over a period of 3 years, with longitudinal comparison of the CD4 count within participants (n = 68) before and during probiotic yogurt consumption, and compared with a control group of participants not consuming the yogurt (n = 82). Results: Among the yogurt consumers before use and the nonconsumers, an average increase in CD4 count was seen of 0.13 cells/mu L/day (95% CI; 0.07-0.20, P = < 0.001). After commencing consumption, yogurt consumers experienced an additional increase of 0.28 cells/mu L/day (95% CI; 0.10-0.46, P = 0.003). When adjusting for length of time using antiretroviral medication, the additional increase explained by yogurt consumption remained 0.17 cells/mu L/day (95% CI; 0.01-0.34, P = 0.04). Treatment with antiretroviral medication was associated with an increase of 0.27 cells/mu L/day (95% CI; 0.17-0.38, P = < 0.001). Conclusion: The introduction of probiotic yogurt, made by local women in a low-income community in Tanzania, was significantly associated with an increase in CD4 count among consumers living with HIV.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)E201-E205
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-02-65-01

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