Flavonoids in cocoa and yerba mate have a beneficial role on inflammation and oxidative disorders. Their effect on HIV individuals has not been studied yet, despite the high cardiovascular risk of this population. This study investigated the role of cocoa and yerba mate consumption on oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers in HIV+ individuals. A cross-over, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted in 92 individuals on antiretroviral therapy for at least six months and at viral suppression. Participants were randomized to receive either 65 g of chocolate or chocolate-placebo or 3 g of yerba mate or mate-placebo for 15 days each, alternating by a washout period of 15 days. At baseline, and at the end of each intervention regimen, data regarding anthropometry, inflammatory, oxidative and immunological parameters were collected. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, lipid profile, white blood cell profile and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were assessed. There was a difference between mean concentrations of HDL-c (ANOVA; p ≤ 0.05) among the different regimens: dark chocolate, chocolate-placebo, yerba mate and mate-placebo. When a paired Student t-test was used for comparisons between mean HDL-c at baseline and after each regimen, the mean concentration of HDL-c was higher after supplementation with dark chocolate (p = 0.008).
Keywords: HIV/AIDS; chocolate; inflammation; oxidative stress; polyphenols; yerba mate.