Cod liver oil may help fight tuberculosis
Study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that cod liver oil sold in capsules may be an effective treatment for tuberculosis. The effect is explained by the fact that this oil is a rich source of vitamin D, a nutrient known to fight infections.
The conclusion came from the review of a study done in 1848, where 1,077 people with the disease participated in a research conducted by physicians at the Hospital for Consumption (now called Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, UK). Of these, 542 received the common treatment and consumed cod liver oil, while 535 (control group) did the same treatment, but without the oil.
The results revealed that between the two groups, who showed a better stabilization rate of the disease was the group that consumed cod liver oil - 18% of the patients, against only 6% of the control group. The low rates are justified by the time the original study was made in the nineteenth to the twentieth century, where tuberculosis was still considered an epidemic.
For researchers, the finding is important because tuberculosis continues to kill many people and vitamin D supplementation is a weapon in fighting the disease. According to the WHO, tuberculosis is the second leading cause of death from infectious disease in the world, falling short of AIDS.
Vitamin D helps fight tuberculosis
Another study confirms how vitamin D plays a key role in response of the immune system against tuberculosis. The research was developed by the University of California, Los Angeles, and funded by the US National Institutes of Health and scientific research agencies in Germany and South Korea.
The scientists examined mechanisms that regulate system capacity immune system to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis - which causes tuberculosis. The team found that lymphocytes (part of the blood responsible for the defense or immunity of the body) release a protein called interferon, which initiates the communication between white blood cells and directs them to attack the invading bacteria. however, the body should have a certain level of vitamin D. The research recorded an 85% reduction of tuberculosis bacteria in human cells treated with interferon in the presence of sufficient vitamin D.
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