The effect of micro-nutrients on malnutrition, immunity and therapeutic effect in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2020 Dec:125:101994. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2020 Sep 29.


Objective: Micro-nutrients are closely related to pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). Most patients with PTB suffer from micro-nutrients deficiency. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of micro-nutrients support on clinical therapy and chronic inflammation in patients with PTB.

Methods: We searched Pubmed, Springer link, Web of Science, Cochrane, Wan Fang and CNKI databases for randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The patients with anti-TB treatments were divided into two groups, the control group with nutritional advice or placebo, and the experimental group with micro-nutrients support for more than 2 weeks. Two reviewers conducted data extraction and quality assessment of the studies independently, and ReviewManager 5.2 software was used to input and analyse the data. The dichotomous variable was expressed in the risk ratios (RRS) and 95% CI, the continuous data were expressed in the mean difference (MD) and 95% CI, and the heterogeneity of subgroup was evaluated by I (Kerantzas and Jacobs, Jr., 2017) [2] test.

Results: A total of 13 trials (2847 participants) were included. First, micro-nutrients improved sputum smears or culture negative conversion rates (OR 0.16 0.03-0.77, 2.29; MD -2.36, -4.72~-0.01, z = 1.97). Meanwhile, micro-nutrients support increased lymphocytes and decreased leukocytes, neutrophils, CRP and ESR (MD 0.20, 0.06-0.35, z = 2.78; MD -0.42, -0.65~-0.18, z = 3.48; MD -0.66, -1.12~-0.20, z = 2.82). However it had not impact on body weight, MUAC, haemoglobin, albumin or monocytes (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Micro-nutrients support can reduce chronic inflammation and improve sputum smears or culture conversions to contribute to anti-TB treatment.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; Micro-nutrients; Pulmonary tuberculosis; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Malnutrition / complications*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Nutrients / pharmacology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / therapy*


  • Antitubercular Agents