Adjunctive micronutrient supplementation for pulmonary tuberculosis

Salud Publica Mex. 2010 May-Jun;52(3):185-9. doi: 10.1590/s0036-36342010000300001.


Objective: To assess the effect of micronutrient supplementation on tuberculosis (TB) patient outcomes.

Material and methods: The randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted in pulmonary TB patients undergoing directly observed treatment short course/ tratamiento acortado estrictamente supervisado (TAES/ DOTS) at IMSS in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, who were recruited during August 2005-July 2006. Consecutive patients received zinc and vitamin A supplements or matched placebo for four months. Dietary intake, blood zinc and vitamin A, immune response (IFN-gamma,TNF-alpha, and IL-10 mRNA), and sputum smear conversion were measured.

Results: The proportion of micronutrient compared to placebo group subjects with a negative sputum smear by month 3 was significantly increased (p= 0.03). This occurred subsequent to increased TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma and decreased IL-10 observed at month 2. Micronutrient supplementation appeared to accelerate the beneficial therapeutic effect of chemotherapy.

Conclusions: The earlier elimination of bacilli from sputum was associated with improved zinc status and Th1 immune response. The therapeutic effect of vitamin A was less evident.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology*
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Zinc / administration & dosage*


  • Micronutrients
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc