Zinc and vitamin A supplementation fails to reduce sputum conversion time in severely malnourished pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Indonesia.
SourceNutrition Journal, 9, (2010), pp. 41
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectN4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation; N4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host; N4i 3: Poverty-related infectious diseases; NCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
BACKGROUND: A previous study showed that combination of zinc and vitamin A reduced sputum conversion time in pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients. OBJECTIVE: We studied the efficacy of which single micronutrient contributed more to the sputum conversion time. METHODS: In a double-blind randomized community trial, newly sputum smear positive pulmonary TB patients were assigned randomly to receive zinc, vitamin A, zinc + vitamin A or placebo on top of TB treatment. Patients were asked to deliver their sputum on weekly basis to measure positivity of the bacteria. Nutritional status, chest x-ray, hemoglobin, C-reactive protein (CRP), retinol and zinc level were examined prior to, after 2 and 6 months of treatment. RESULTS: Initially, 300 patients were enrolled, and 255 finished the treatment. Most patients were severely malnourished (mean BMI 16.5 +/- 2.2 Kg/m2). Patients in the zinc + vitamin A group showed earlier sputum conversion time (mean 1.9 weeks) compared with that in the other groups; however the difference was not significant. Also, no benefit could be demonstrated of any of the used supplementations on clinical, nutritional, chest x-ray, or laboratory findings. CONCLUSIONS: This study among severely malnourished TB patients, did not confirm that single or combined supplementation of zinc and vitamin A significantly reduced sputum conversion time or had other significant benefit.
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