Hepatoprotective and immune-reconstitution potentials of carrot-ginger blend among HIV-infected patients taking antiretroviral therapy in Kaduna, Nigeria

Hepatotoxicity, micronutrients insufficiency and cost of micronutrient supplements are challenges faced by HIV infected patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART). This study investigated the effect of natural plant micronutrients (vitamins A, C, and E, selenium and Zinc supplements from carrot-ginger (75:25) blend on liver enzymes: Alanine transaminase (ALT) and Aspartate transaminase (AST), CD4 + T lymphocytes and body mass index (BMI) of HIV-infected-patients taking ART. Ninety HIV-infected-patients attending Special Treatment Clinic, Kafanchan General Hospital, Kaduna State, Nigeria, were randomized into three groups of thirty patients each: Group 1 is control group and received ART alone, Group 2 is standard group and received ART with ready to use commercial micronutrient supplement (SelACER supplement) while Group 3 is supplement group and received ART + Carrot-Ginger blend for 90 days. Serum Alanine, Aspartate transaminase, CD4 + T lymphocytes and BMI were assessed using standard methods at baseline (day 0), 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. The results indicated that patients on CarrotGinger blend and SelACER micronutrients supplements show significant (p<0.05) reduction in ALT and AST level. However, there was no significant (p>0.05) difference in patients treated with ART alone when compared to their baseline values. The results indicated that patients on carrot-ginger blend and SelACEĀ® supplements had significant (p<0.05) increase in BMI, CD4+ T-cell counts, serum vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc from day zero. There was no significant (p>0.05) difference in patients treated with ART alone compared to their baseline values. In addition, patients on SelACEĀ® supplement revealed significant (p<0.05) difference in their mean BMI, CD4+ T-cell counts, serum vitamins A, C, E, Selenium and Zinc compared to patients on carrot-ginger blend after 90 days. The results also indicated a strong positive association (r=0.97) between serum ALT and AST activity and between CD4+ T cell counts and body mass index (r=0.77) after 90 days. Therefore, micronutrients supplementation of HIV patients during ART treatment with Carrot-Ginger blend could also be a beneficial adjunct to ART due to its potentials to reconstitute the immune system and protect the liver in HIV individuals on ART.

 Joshua Zamani Pius, Abarshi Muawiyam Musa, Sani Ibrahim, Olumuyiwa Owolabi Adeyemi, Mada Sanusi Bello, Dallhatu Rhoda Yakubu