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High Doses of Vitamin D Enhances Recovery from Tuberculosis

Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, led by Dr Adrian Martineau conducted a study which demonstrated that high doses of vitamin D, when given in addition to antibiotic treatment, may help patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) recover more quickly from the infection.

The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Medical Research, investigated the effect of vitamin D on the immune responses of patients receiving treatment for tuberculosis, the first of its kind. The findings show that high doses of the vitamin can reduce the body’s inflammatory response to infection, resulting in faster recovery and less lung damage. The authors also believe that vitamin D supplementation may help patients recover faster from other conditions such as pneumonia, sepsis and other lung infections.

For the study, Dr Martineau and his colleagues from various London hospitals and institutions randomized 95 patients receiving standard antibiotic treatment for tuberculosis into two groups. One group received high doses of vitamin D while the other group received placebo for the first eight weeks of their treatment. Dr Anna Coussens at the MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research measured the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood samples taken from the patients, and analyzed the effects that vitamin D had on their immune response.

The results of the study showed that the bacteria in the phlegm of the patients cleared up faster in patients taking vitamin D and that their inflammatory markers were reduced.

Dr Martineau believes that more research is needed before making recommendations can be made regarding the intake of high doses of vitamin D.


Queen Mary, University of London. High doses of vitamin D help tuberculosis patients recover more quickly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 4, 2012.

Posted in: Diseases, Inflammation, Tuberculosis, Vitamin D

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