Background: Tuberculosis (TB) often coincides with nutritional deficiencies. The effects of micronutrient supplementation on TB treatment outcomes, clinical complications, and mortality are uncertain.
Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of micronutrients (vitamins A, B complex, C, and E, as well as selenium) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We enrolled 471 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and 416 HIV-negative adults with pulmonary TB at the time of initiating chemotherapy and monitored them for a median of 43 months.
Results: Micronutrients decreased the risk ofTB recurrence by 45% overall (95% confidence interval [CI], 7% to 67%; P = .02) and by 63% in HIV-infected patients (95% CI, 8% to 85%; P = .02). There were no significant effects on mortality overall; however, we noted a marginally significant 64% reduction of deaths in HIV-negative subjects (95% CI, -14% to 88%; P = .08). Supplementation increased CD3+ and CD4+ cell counts and decreased the incidence of extrapulmonary TB and genital ulcers in HIV-negative patients. Micronutrients reduced the incidence of peripheral neuropathy by 57% (95% CI, 41% to 69%; P < .001), irrespective of HIV status. There were no significant effects on weight gain, body composition, anemia, or HIV load.
Conclusions: Micronutrient supplementation could improve the outcome in patients undergoing TB chemotherapy in Tanzania.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00197704.