A new research discovered that, the people with vitamin A deficiency and living with the individuals infected with tuberculosis (TB) tend to develop the disease 10 times more than the people with high levels of vitamin A.
"If the link is affirmed in a clinical trial of vitamin A supplementation, it would make a powerful case for using this approach to prevent TB in people at high risk of disease," said the senior author Megan Murray, Professor at the Harvard Medical School, at Boston in the US.
The discoveries of the research were published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, are based on the analysis of blood drawn from more than 6,000 household people diagnosed with the TB.
In the year 2015, more than 1.8 million people have died from TB. TB strikes hard in the low- and middle-income countries, as vitamin A deficiency affect up to 30 per cent of the population in these countries
"It's exciting to think that something as simple and inexpensive as supplementing people's diets with vitamin A may be a powerful tool for preventing TB," Murray said.
Vitamin A which is also known as retinol, is best known among the public health experts for its connection with blindness. Healthy levels of the vitamin A have been defined as those needed to prevent the damage to eyesight.
Many previous studies have suggested that good levels of vitamin A boosts the immune system and may also prevent the infection. But how vitamin A affect the risk for TB is still unclear.
Deficiency of Vitamin A is defined as less than 200 micrograms per liter of blood would raise the risk of developing TB disease. That risk of the disease is 20 times higher among the young people between the ages of 10 and 19. The researchers said that, the findings suggests vitamin A may play a vital role in the immunity among younger people.