Effect of vitamin A supplementation in category-I Pulmonary Tuberculosis patients in a Medical College in India: a rapid assessment analysis

G. Sujatha, M. Dhanasekaran, Syed Shuja Qadri, S. Jeevithan


Background: Tuberculosis is one of the major health problems affecting the global population causing immense morbidity and mortality. Studies have shown that a good antioxidant status of the body has immune protective role against tuberculosis and may be associated with a decreased risk of the disease and slower rate of progression. Objective of the study was planned to evaluate the beneficial effects of Vitamin A as add on therapy to the standard drug therapy in patients with sputum positive pulmonary tuberculosis.

Methods: The study was done in a Tuberculosis clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Stanley Medical College for duration of 6 months. All the newly diagnosed sputum positive pulmonary tuberculosis patients (18-55 years) attending the outpatient were taken for the study purpose. A Phase III, prospective, open, two arm parallel group, outpatient, randomized, active controlled study was done.

Results: After two weeks of therapy, the number of patients with negative sputum smear was higher in the study group than the control group. Vitamin A supplementation resulted in an earlier elimination of tubercle bacilli from the sputum.

Conclusions: This study shows that vitamin A as add on therapy to the existing standard therapy improves the clinical response and decreases the disease activity to a greater extent than with routine standard therapy alone.


Anti-oxidants, Tuberculosis, Vitamin A

Full Text:



WHO. Global Tuberculosis Control, Surveillance, Planning, WHO report 2006.

Park K. Preventive and Social Medicine; 19th Edition; 169.

Karyadi E, West CE, Schultink W, Nelwan RHH, Gross R, Amin Z, et al. Vitamin A and Zinc supplementation in persons with tuberculosis in Indonesia: effects on clinical response and nutritional status. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;75:720-7.

Chytil F. The lungs and vitamin A, Am J Physiology. 1992;262;L517-27.

Crowle AJ, Ross EJ. Inhibition by retinoic acid of multiplication of virulent tubercle bacilli in cultured human macrophages. Infect Immun. 1989;57:840-4.

Chandra RK. Increased bacterial binding to respiratory epithelial cells in vitamin A deficiency. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1988;297:834-35.