A study carried out by the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen suggests that increased vitamin D intake can significantly boost the immune system, thus combating infections such as tuberculosis.
The tuberculosis bacteria, which affected 312 people in Denmark in 2014, can be fatal if untreated. In 2015, it killed approximately 1.8 million people worldwide, with the majority of those deaths occurring in developing countries.
The research suggests that future treatments could be considerably cheaper than they are now, enabling countries with a poor medical infrastructure to better fight it.
Further research needed
Preliminary trials have yielded positive results. However, further research is needed to provide conclusive evidence.
“It seems likely that vitamin D helps the immune system fight tuberculosis, but major clinical trials are necessary to conclusively determine the beneficial effects,” Carsten Geisler, one of the researchers involved in the project, told Videnskab.
Vitamin D deficiency
The research follows a recent study carried out by Aarhus University that promotes the positive effect of vitamin D in the diet.
The report concluded that around 10 percent of Danes suffer from vitamin D deficiency, again highlighting the positive effect of taking supplements.