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Nutrients better outcomes of tuberculosis treatment

The nutritional status turns out to be a strong predictor of clinical outcomes in patients with infections, co-author Dr. Eduardo Villamor of Harvard's School of Public Health told Reuters.

The study of 887 patients in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was meant to examine whether nutrient supplements would reduce the risk of complications and death in patients being treated for tuberculosis.

Those who used the nutrients were slightly less likely to fail tuberculosis treatment and 45 percent less likely to have recurrence, the study found. The effect of the nutrients on the disease recurrence was stronger in the HIV carriers who are more vulnerable to infections including tuberculosis.

The nutrient supplementation was also associated with a reduced risk of tuberculosis complications occurring outside of the lungs. But beneficial immune system effects were only seen in HIV-negative patients, not in those with the virus.

Nutrient supplements were not found to have a significant effect on death rates or the HIV progression in HIV patients.

More research is needed to confirm the results, Villamor was cited by Reuters as saying.


By Jimmy Downs, and edited by Heather Kelley.
Jun 13, 2008 - 7:31:23 AM