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Study: Vitamin C can kill bacteria that causes tuberculosis

05/29/2013

In an accidental discovery that may have far-reaching consequences for the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), researchers from Yeshiva University have demonstrated that Vitamin C effectively kills the disease.

Scientists observed that introducing Vitamin C into TB cultures sterilized them by stimulating the release of reactive oxygen particles called free radicals. Those free radicals killed TB in both drug-susceptible and resistant forms.

"This would be a great study to consider because we have strains of tuberculosis that we don't have drugs for, and I know that in the laboratory we can kill those strains with vitamin C," said study lead investigator  Dr. William Jacobs.

Jacobs also noted that so far, the Vitamin C's effectiveness against TB has only been demonstrated in a test tube. Before treatments could be developed, its usefulness against the infection would need to be demonstrated in human trials, he told the BBC. 

The elderly are more susceptible to all forms of the the disease, according to research by the National Institutes for Health (NIH). The NIH also found that seniors diagnosed with TB were more likely to experience adverse reactions to medication and atypical symptoms.