Vitamin C Empowers Action of Tuberculosis Drugs to Work Better, finds Study


A research study published in an American Society for Microbiology journal, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy has suggested that combining vitamin C with tuberculosis (TB) drugs could help in quick eradication of the pathogen, i.e. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Ph.D. Instructor from Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Bronx, NY, Catherine J. Vilcheze has authored the study. Vilcheze had found Mtb organ burdens in Mtb-infected mice to be reduced faster by combining vitamin C with rifampicin and isoniazid than using the two first-line TB drugs independently. Similar results had been achieved with experiments in infected tissue cultures.

Vitamin C Stimulating Respiration of Mtb Cells Enables Action of Isoniazid and Rifampicin

Mtb organ burdens in the mice had been measured at four and six weeks after the treatment. For tissue cultures, the time to sterilization had been noted to be reduced to seven days. William R. Jacobs, Jr., a principal investigator and PhD. Investigator at Einstein College of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, had said that TB drug treatment combined with vitamin C could yield to the shortening of TB chemotherapy and potentiating of the killing of Mtb.

In previous studies, as pointed out by Dr. Jacobs, investigators had found lower levels of vitamin C to prevent Mtb persister cells from forming and to stimulate their respiration while high concentrations to kill actively dividing cells. Thus, a rapid death of the dormant cells could take place in the presence of TB drugs due to their increased respiration, study authors have postulated in the new paper.

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