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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2004 Mar;74(2):144-6.

Nutrient supplementation as adjunct therapy in pulmonary tuberculosis.

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Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Centre, Y-182 Regency Park II, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon 122002, India.


The study examined the effect of supplementation with multivitamins and trace elements on microbiological and radiological recovery in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Forty-four patients aged 28-50 years were diagnosed with active pulmonary tuberculosis based on X-ray of the chest and smear examination of the sputum for the presence of acid-fast bacilli. They were all treated for six months with a standard anti-tuberculosis regimen that has been found to be effective worldwide for disease control. The subjects were randomized to receive either a multivitamin-trace element supplement or a placebo containing calcium. The two groups were matched on all relevant confounding variables. At two months into the treatment, the group that was supplemented with a multivitamin-trace element preparation showed a significant reduction in the number of individuals with sputum smear positive for acid-fast bacillus: two out of 22 individuals, compared with seven out of 22 among placebo-treated controls (p = 0.028, Fisher's test). It is concluded that patients with tuberculosis should be supplemented with a suitable micronutrient preparation that contains optimum amounts of all vitamins and trace elements that have been documented to enhance the immune response.

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