Administering vitamin C in addition to anti-tuberculosis treatment improves its effectiveness. It would also increase the speed of recovery, even though it may take more than two years to treat tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis kills nearly 1.8 million people worldwide each year according to the Institut Pasteur. This disease attacks the lungs, but sometimes also the kidneys, ganglia or bones.
American researchers have shown that combining traditional antibiotics against tuberculosis with vitamin C improves the effectiveness of drugs, and speeds up the healing time. The results of this research were published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
An accelerated healing
In a dual combination of rifampicin and isoniazid, the researchers treated mice infected with tuberculosis in different ways: some with anti-TB drugs alone, others with vitamin C alone, and stay with a combination of both. They then measured the importance of tuberculosis after four and six weeks.
"Our study shows that adding vitamin C to drugs increases the chances of destroying TB, and this can reduce chemotherapy time," says William R. Jacobs, one of the lead researchers in this study. In fact, it takes about six months to cure the disease, sometimes this long period leads to poor follow-up treatment and the emergence of resistant forms of the disease. When the patient shows signs of drug resistance, treatment takes at least two years. The drugs used are then stronger, which brings many side effects, very heavy.