August 29, 2003
A pilot study of two women and eight men with HIV-related lipodystrophy revealed that antioxidants appear to improve cholesterol levels and midriff weight gain, but may have a negative impact on blood sugar levels. The ten study participants took 800 IU of vitamin E and 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day, and 600 milligrams of N-acetylcysteine twice a day for 24 weeks.
After 24 weeks, body measurements showed no significant change in circumferences or skinfold thickness, except for a "modest" decrease in waist-to-hip ratio, Dr. Grace McComsey and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University reported. Their article, "Effect of Antioxidants on Glucose Metabolism and Plasma Lipids in HIV-Infected Subjects with Lipoatrophy," was published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (2003; 33;(5):605-607). Triglycerides and total and HDL ("good") cholesterol levels did not change markedly, according to the report, and there was a trend toward lower LDL ("bad") levels.
"Even with the small study sample size, we were able to show some improvement of LDL cholesterol and waist-to-hip ratio, both being very promising findings," said McComsey.
08.21.03; Megan Rauscher