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July 19, 2019 Friday 04:13:19 PM IST

Mushrooms to help fight TB

Science Innovations

In a new study, researchers at American Society for Nutritionshow that sun-exposed oyster mushrooms offer a readily available source of vitamin D that can help tuberculosis patients respond better to anti-TB drugs by improving immune response.

TB is becoming more difficult to fight due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains, creating an urgent need for new treatments that can support first-line drugs.Studies have shown that vitamin D induces the body to form an antimicrobial compound that attacks the bacterial cause of TB. Although sun exposure can boost a person's vitamin D levels, it must be obtained through diet when sun exposure is scarce.The researchers used oyster mushrooms because they offer a cheap, safe and readily available source of vitamin D that is easily absorbed by the body. Although fresh oyster mushrooms contain almost no vitamin D, the fungus produces it after exposure to sunlight much like the human body. 

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