Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Killed By Vitamin C

Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Killed By Vitamin C

By Shinji Tutoru

ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, NY, USA. A recent study by a group of scientists suggests that a very simple and affordable alternative to most anti-tuberculosis drugs in the market nowadays is vitamin C. Unexpectedly, they discovered that vitamin C can kill drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria. At the same time, it could also potentially shorten therapy, which means less time and money.

Currently, tuberculosis is especially acute in third world countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 95 percent of tuberculosis-related deaths happen in low and middle income countries. It is a growing problem as about 650,000 people around the globe are infected with the type of tuberculosis that is resistant to most commercially available drugs.

During a study, the group of scientists was trying to figure out how tuberculosis bacteria becomes resistant to isoniazid, a potent first-line anti-tuberculosis drug. Instead of causing the mycobacterium tuberculosis to develop resistance with isoniazid and cysteine, it ended up killing the entire culture.

They believed that cysteine, being a reducing agent, helped kill tuberculosis during the test. With that in mind, they performed another test where used another reducing agent, vitamin C. Combined with isoniazid, vitamin C sterilized the mycobacterium tuberculosis culture. Next, the researchers used vitamin C alone. They were amazed to discover that neither isoniazid nor cysteine killed the mycobacterium tuberculosis culture. Not only did vitamin C sterilize the drug-resistant tuberculosis, it also sterilized multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant strains.

Professor William Jacobs from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York is the head of the research team. He said that they did more tests and they found out that vitamin C caused iron to react with other molecules to create reactive oxygen species. This reaction killed the tuberculosis bacteria. It is yet to be tested on humans, but this time, there will be a proven basis to conduct clinical tests soon.

Invention Vitamin C Against Tuberculosis
Organization Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY, USA
Researcher Professor William Jacobs & Team
Field(s) Medicine, Vitamin C, Tuberculosis
Further Information http://www.sci-news.com/medicine/article01093-vitamin-c-mycobacterium-tuberculosis.html

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