Vitamin C and Tuberculosis
The combination of vitamin C and TB medicine can shorten the duration of treatment. Results drawn from testing in mice and tissue cultures in the laboratory open a new direction to solving the difficult problem of treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
1. Difficulty in treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. Most TB treatment regimens are lengthy and complex. Poor management of TB treatment can lead to drug resistance in patients, so shortening the duration of treatment significantly improves effectiveness and prevents the risk of drug resistance.
Treatment for drug-sensitive TB usually lasts for 6 months and requires the use of 4 drugs to be able to cure the disease. Multidrug-resistant TB can occur in patients who initially respond well to TB drugs, but whose treatment is not well controlled. Multidrug-resistant status of TB bacilli is common to the two leading drugs to treat tuberculosis today, isoniazid and rifampin. New drugs to fight drug-resistant TB have been studied and are in clinical trials, but the process takes a long time and the ability to shorten the duration of treatment has not been proven.
Another challenge in TB treatment is identifying drugs that can eliminate persistent bacteria that cannot be destroyed by drugs or immune agents. This leads to the formation of a latent M. tuberculosis infection and resistance mutations.
2. Effect of vitamin C on tuberculosis bacilli
High concentrations of vitamin C have the ability to kill drug-sensitive and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis.
A study performed on mice infected with M. tuberculosis treated with anti-tuberculosis drugs, either vitamin C alone, or a combination of anti-tuberculosis drugs and vitamin C. Density of M. tuberculosis was assessed at 4 and 6 weeks after treatment.
Results showed that vitamin C alone had no effect on tuberculosis bacilli. However, the combination of vitamin C and the TB drugs (isoniazid and rifampicin) reduced the population of TB bacteria faster than when the two drugs were used without vitamin C. Also, the results were similar. also occurs in histopathological cultures. Specifically, the above-mentioned combination treatment with vitamin C shortened the treatment time by 7 days.
Therefore, one hypothesis is that, adding vitamin C to the TB treatment regimen can shorten the treatment time, help reduce the rate of drug resistance and disease recurrence. If this hypothesis is proven correct, vitamin C has the potential to improve the treatment of tuberculosis.
The results of this study have important implications because the course of drug treatment for tuberculosis can last up to 6 months. Moreover, if not well controlled, pathogens have the ability to develop latently, spread, become resistant to TB drugs and be difficult to treat.
3. Supplement vitamin C properly
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a common and safe vitamin for human use. Therefore, there is great potential to develop a new direction in the preparation of drugs to treat tuberculosis effectively, quickly and economically.
The role of vitamin C is very important in the body, they help protect cells and keep them healthy. Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in fresh vegetables and fruit juices, including orange juice, lemon, tangerine, green vegetables, especially broccoli, pepper, potatoes, vegetables, tomatoes, ... Vitamin C can be supplemented by changing diet and lifestyle.
In short, in addition to the benefits for the skin, refreshing the body, vitamin C is also studied to support the treatment of tuberculosis and opens a new direction to solve difficult problems for treatment. multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
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