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Author Topic: Study Indicates Vitamin C Might Shorten Tuberculosis Treatment Time  (Read 717 times)

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A new study has found that anti-tuberculosis drugs killed more bacteria in laboratory mice given a vitamin C supplement than those given drugs alone.

If the findings hold up in human studies, the authors say, the result could be that there's a cheap, safe way to reduce the months-long treatment time for one of the world's leading killers. Also, the vitamin supplement could offer a way to cut down on the development of drug-resistant TB, a serious health threat.

Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, 1.7 million people died of the disease last year. Of more than 10 million new infections, about 600,000 were resistant to the leading drug.

Front-line drugs attack TB cells as they multiply, but a small proportion of the bacteria survive by going dormant. If therapy stops too soon, these "persisters" start multiplying and the patient relapses, often with strains that are resistant to the drugs.

Current TB treatment takes six months, largely to outlast the persisters. But it's hard for patients to stay on treatment for so long.



 

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