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Zinc and vitamin A supplementation fails to reduce sputum conversion time in severely malnourished pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Indonesia

Author(s): Pakasi Trevino | Karyadi Elvina | Suratih Ni Made | Salean Michael | Darmawidjaja Nining | Bor Hans | van der Velden Koos | Dolmans Wil | van der Meer Jos

Journal: Nutrition Journal
ISSN 1475-2891

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract 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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