Brief Report: Zinc Supplementation and Inflammation in Treated HIV


OBJECTIVE: In this study, we explored the effect of zinc supplementation on markers of inflammation and monocyte activation in antiretroviral therapy-treated HIV infection. METHODS: This is a phase I open-labeled randomized double-arm study, exploring the efficacy and safety of zinc supplementation on inflammation in ≥18-year-old people living with HIV in the US, on stable antiretroviral therapy and with zinc levels ≤75 µg/dL in the last 60 days. Patients were randomized 1:1 to zinc gluconate capsules at a dose of 45 mg (low-dose), or 90 mg (high-dose) elemental zinc daily for 16 weeks. We assessed inflammatory and gut integrity biomarkers at baseline and 16 weeks. RESULTS: Overall, a total of 52 participants were enrolled (25 participants in the low-dose arm and 27 participants in the high-dose arm). Median (Interquartile range) age was 49 (38, 60) years, 77% were men and 73% were African Americans. At baseline, median zinc levels were 73 (64, 86) µg/dL. Median circulating zinc levels increased to 91 µg/dL in the low-dose arm and to 100 µg/dL in the high-dose arm. Overall, 48%-60% of participants experienced a reduction in biomarkers levels. The margin of reduction ranged between 8% and 21%. This change was meaningful with large effect size (Cohen D ranging from 5 to 19). CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot study, we found that zinc supplementation is effective at increasing circulating zinc levels. In addition, our findings provide novel data suggesting that zinc can affect a biological signature in people living with HIV and modulate biomarkers associated with clinical comorbidities.

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (1999)
Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu
Postdoctoral Associate

Aging and Life Course, Health Disparities, Machining Learning, Quantitative Methods