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Vitamin D may help fight tuberculosis, reports the BBC.
A study of 131 people at Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Imperial College found the vitamin helped the body inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes the respiratory disease. The group was then divided into two groups: 64 participants were given a placebo; the rest, 2.5 milligrams of vitamin D.
After six weeks, blood was taken and infected with mycobacteria, the family of bacteria that cause TB. After 24 hours, the samples showed those who had taken vitamin D had 20% less bacterial growth than the placebo group.
Lead researcher Adrian Martineau told the BBC: "This shows that a simple, cheap supplement could make a significant impact on the health of people most at risk from the disease."
Until now, no study has evaluated the effect of vitamin D on the body's immunity to mycobacteria. However, vitamin D was originally used to treat TB in sanatoriums before antibiotics came in to use. Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes. (The Advocate)