Vitamin C Kills Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Date: 30-05-2013

New research shows that ‘Mycobacterium tuberculosis is extraordinarily sensitive to killing by a vitamin C-induced Fenton reaction’. In an article for Medscape.com titled Vitamin C Kills Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ricki Lewis, PhD outlines how Vitamin-C achieves this and how the application of Vitamin-C in treatment regimes could shorten the needed length of chemotherapy treatment.

Excerpt:

Vitamin C Kills Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Vitamin C kills drug-sensitive, multidrug-resistant (MDR), and extensively-drug resistant (XDR) strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in culture as a result of prooxidant effects, according to a report published online May 21 in Nature Communications.

The new work builds on the long-standing observation that vitamin C is toxic to M tuberculosis, a Gram-positive bacterium. Experiments in the 1930s showed that only 6% of guinea pigs exposed to the bacteria and given tomato juice became infected compared with 70% of guinea pigs not given the vitamin C–rich juice. In vitro experiments conducted in 1950 confirmed the effect of the vitamin on bacterial cultures, and a study in 2011 correlated vitamin C content of various medicinal plants with antibacterial effects.

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Read the research abstract:
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is extraordinarily sensitive to killing by a vitamin C-induced Fenton reaction by Catherine Vilchèze, Travis Hartman, Brian Weinrick & William R. Jacobs Jr