Tuberculosis (TB) isn’t a disease of the past—it’s very much present today. In 2010, it killed an estimated 1.4 million people worldwide, and infected 8.8 million. But promising research shows that sunlight may play an important role in fighting the infectious disease and help in the treatment of TB.
Treatment of TB Possibly by Simple Sunlight
According to England’s Daily Mail, researchers from Queen Mary University have found that high doses of vitamin D may reduce the body’s inflammatory response to tuberculosis, helping to heal patients with the disease and leave them with fewer long term effects.
TB was once the leading cause of death in the United States, though it is far less common now. Still, it is a serious infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. In the UK, antibiotic resistant strains of the disease are popping up, sending experts scrambling for additional means of treatment for TB.
The infection is spread through coughing. Bacteria from the lungs containing the TB bacteria are spread into the air and inhaled by others. In the UK, there were 342 cases of antibiotic-resistant TB in 2010. In 2011, however, that number climbed to 431.
The disease is highly contagious, but the research from Queen Mary University shows that the vitamin D from sunlight can shorten the infectious period. It can also stave off some of the extreme inflammation that causes long term lung damage.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences studied 95 TB patients—those in a control group and those who received high doses of vitamin D with their antibiotics.
The researchers found that the “inflammatory markers fell further and faster in patients receiving vitamin D.” They also found the bacteria that causes TB was cleared from the phlegm of patients using vitamin D at a faster rate than those using strictly antibiotic treatment. Those getting the sunshine vitamin showed none of the bacteria in 23 days, where those without the vitamin D treatment took 36 days to clear up.
Vitamin D is an amazing substance, with numerous health benefits that we already know about, and more being discovered each year. There has already been a connection made between vitamin D and weight loss as well as vitamin D and cancer, with many more links to come. Vitamin D has also been shown to outperform fluoride at cavity prevention. Soaking up the suns rays won’t only help with treatment of TB, but will have a profound positive affect on overall health.