'Sunshine' vitamin D found to speed tuberculosis recovery
- Sreesanth, Jiju Janardhan lived in independently booked rooms: Cops
- India to convey concerns over Ladakh incursion to Chinese Premier
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Imperious Azhar Mahmood powers KXIP to 183
- Rajapaksa slams Tamil diaspora for lack of support in reconciliation process
- 5 differently abled orphan girls beaten, raped in Jaipur residential school
Scientists have shown how and why the "sunshine" vitamin D can speed recovery in tuberculosis (TB) patients, helping explain why the so-called heliotherapy of a bygone, pre-antibiotic era may have done some good.
From the late 1800s - well before the development of antibiotics in 1930s - TB patients were often sent to retreats where they were encouraged to soak up the sun's rays in what was known as heliotherapy or phototherapy.
A study led by British researchers has found that high doses of vitamin D - which is made in the body when exposed to sunlight - given alongside antibiotic treatment, appears to help patients recover more quickly from the infectious lung disease.
The findings suggest high doses of the vitamin dampen down the body's inflammatory response to infection, reducing damage to the lungs, said Adrian Martineau, a senior lecturer in respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London, who led the study.
"Sometimes these inflammatory responses can cause tissue damage leading to ... cavities in the lung," he said.
"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."
The researchers also said they think vitamin D's ability to dampen inflammatory responses without interfering with the action of antibiotics suggests supplements might be useful for patients taking antibiotics for diseases like pneumonia, sepsis and other lung infections.
TB, which people in wealthier parts of the world often mistakenly believe to be a thing of the past, is proving a tough disease to beat. In 2010, it infected 8.8 million people worldwide and killed 1.4 million.
The infection destroys lung tissue, causing patients to cough up the bacteria which then spreads through the air and can be inhaled by others.
- Destitute, orphan students outclass rest in Andhra Class 10 exams
- To re-energise ties, PM wants to visit US, waits for confirmation
- NIA court says no terror link, frees 'Hizbul militant' Liyaqat on bail
- CBI arrests its coal allotments investigator on bribery charge
- ‘Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree’
- BCCI chief N Srinivasan says police must prove spot-fixing allegations