Vitamin C and iron: a potential powerful killer of tuberculosis

July 24, 2013
By accident researchers at Yeshiva University, NYC discovered that mycobacterium tuberculosis is "extraordinarily sensitive" to a combination of vitamin C and iron.  Looking for alternatives to control drug resistant tuberculosis researchers were creating drug resistant strains of TB so  they then could find what substances would be effective remedies.  At one point vitamin C was introduced with isoniazid to create a drug resistant strain of TB.  But, instead, the culture was eradicated which was "something totally unexpected."   Although the team at Yeshiva University would like to do more research in this area, "it would cost a lot of money to research further, and drug companies are not inclined to do that research because they can't get a return on their investment, since vitamin C is not patentable," according to the author of the study. 
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is extraordinarily sensitive to killing by a vitamin C-induced Fenton reaction. Nat Commun. 2013;4:1881.

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