Skip to comments.High Doses of Vitamin D Help Tuberculosis Patients Recover More Quickly
Posted on 09/11/2012 1:46:12 AM PDT by neverdem
For decades before antibiotics became generally available, sunshine was used to treat tuberculosis, with patients often being sent to Swiss clinics to soak up the sun's healing rays. Now, for the first time scientists have shown how and why heliotherapy might, indeed, have made a difference.
A study led by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, conducted in collaboration with the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research, has shown that high doses of vitamin D, given in addition to antibiotic treatment, appear to help patients with tuberculosis (TB) recover more quickly.
The research, which will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), is the first to investigate the effect of vitamin D on the immune responses of patients receiving treatment for an infectious disease. The findings indicate that high doses of the vitamin can dampen down the body's inflammatory response to infection, enabling patients to recover faster, with less damage to their lungs.
In addition to stimulating recovery in TB patients, the authors say their results suggest that vitamin D supplementation might help patients recover better from other diseases such as pneumonia.
Dr Adrian Martineau, senior lecturer in respiratory infection and immunity at the Blizard Institute, part of Queen Mary, University of London, who led the research, said: "These findings are very significant. They indicate that vitamin D may have a role in accelerating resolution of inflammatory responses in tuberculosis patients. This is important, because sometimes these inflammatory responses can cause tissue damage leading to the development of cavities in the lung. If we can help these cavities to heal more quickly, then patients should be infectious for a shorter period of time, and they may also suffer less lung damage...
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.
Ah, healing rays today, cancer-causing death rays tomorrow. Funny how journalism works...
A few vitamin D bits:
It has several antiviral and antibacterial effects, as well as moderating the immune system.
One of the antiviral effects is that a breakdown product in the blood is slightly acidic and erodes the viral coat, killing viruses. Whether it does this to bacteria as well is a good question.
Vitamin D is a natural ACE inhibitor.
These are typically used against hypertension (high blood pressure) and congestive heart failure (an inability of the heart to provide sufficient pump action to distribute blood flow to meet the needs of the body.)
However, ACE inhibitors also moderate the immune response to pathogens, so the immune system is less likely to damage the body in the process of fighting the disease. This is especially important in lung diseases, as it helps limit damage to the lungs.
The other effects are a bit harder to describe, so here is the medical research paper explaining some of them, as relates to Tuberculosis, if you want to wade through the jargon.
Except that one need not spend too long in the sun to gain the benefits of it. Maybe in certain times of the year, 15 to 20 minutes max, and if it’s the hot time like in Texas, most definitely before noon. The benefits are there, it’s just that one doesn’t need to spend all day out in the sun. It’s kind of common sense here. You will reap the benefits of it, though, if you don’t spend too long in it.
I hate to be a poopfart, but WIKIpedia is constantly changing B/S.
When it comes to health issues, no one is watching the ‘watchers’, so to speak.
By the bye, Vitamin D rocks!
Nothing really controversial about ACE inhibitors, and I didn’t see much anything wrong with their data about that.
That's their wont when politics is involved. When it's just technical or scientific, WIKIpedia is usually OK. When WIKIpedia isn't good enough, check their references.
When it comes to health issues, my FRiend it is all politics, all of the time!