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Vitamin C kills bacteria drug-resistant tuberculosis

Research done in the U.S. suggests that if the vitamin is added to regular therapy can eliminate the infection in less time


They wanted to find out how tuberculosis became resistant to drugs, but found an effective and low cost to remove it. These scientists are on Vitamin C the answer to end stronger strains of the infection.

Unintentionally, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (New York) made a discovery that could reshape the treatments and open ways to design drugs that cure multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

Experts found that vitamin C TB destroys bacteria cultivated in laboratory, when used in conjunction with the available drugs to which the organism has developed precisely immunity.

The finding was a surprise, as the team of Albert Einstein was conducting other research. They wanted to understand in depth how TB becomes resistant to a powerful first-line drug called isoniazid.

The team, led by Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Genetics, William Jacobs, Jr., Ph.D, a feature observed in these seemingly strong bacteria. Were deficient in a molecule called mycothiol.

“Our hypothesis stated that the TB bacteria can not produce mycothiol may contain more cysteine, an amino acid,” said Jacobs in an article published in the online version of the journal “Nature Communications”.

“So if we added cysteine ​​predicted along with isoniazid to the bacterium M. tuberculosis’, sensitive to this drug, develop resistance. Instead, we note that killed the bacteria in the culture, something totally unexpected, “adds the professor, who was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Then repeated the experiment using the same drug-isoniazid, but switching to another agent to be combined in this case vitamin C.

“We were surprised to discover that vitamin C by itself not only sterilizes the drug-susceptible TB, but also sterilizes the MDR-TB and XDR strains of TB (extremely drug resistant tuberculosis).”

Because the investigation is at the laboratory stage, to elevate it to clinical stage (with humans) are needed to find the mechanism of its own lethal action of vitamin C.

The team found that this agent produces iron which react with other molecules, creating a reactive oxygen species that kills TB.

“We now have a rational basis for a clinical trial. It also helps that we know that vitamin C is inexpensive, widely available and very safe to use, “concludes the study’s author.

Strict compliance with medical instructions in the use of drugs prevents the strains of the TB bacteria develop resistance. Therefore, the drugs of first and second line do not work for patients who are more dangerous variant of tuberculosis.


This infectious disease is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and is transmitted by the respiratory route. One of the characteristic symptom is a persistent cough for more than 15 days.

The World Health Organization states that in 2011 tuberculosis infected 8.7 million people worldwide, causing 1.4 million deaths. Some 650,000 people are affected because the disease is resistant to drugs, and 9% of them have acquired drug-resistant variant.

Greafully we can find Vitamin C from the nature. Camu Camu, is a shrub that grows in the Peruvian rainforest along the Amazon River in Peru. It contains the highest amount of natural vitamin C of any herbal source in the world, “approximately 30 times more vitamin C than what is found in Oranges“.


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