Sunshine Vitamin 'May Help Treat Tuberculosis'

Vitamin D could help the body fight infections of deadly tuberculosis, according to doctors in London. Nearly 1.5 million people are killed by the infection every year and there are concerns some cases are becoming untreatable. A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed patients recovered more quickly when given both the vitamin and antibiotics. More tests would be needed before it could be given to patients routinely. The idea of using vitamin D to treat tuberculosis (TB) harks back to some of the earliest treatments for the lung infection. Before antibiotics were discovered, TB patients were prescribed "forced sunbathing", known as heliotherapy, which increased vitamin D production. However, the treatment disappeared when antibiotics proved successful at treating the disease.