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Can Vitamin D Help prevent Tuberculosis?

Approximately one quarter of the world’s population has been infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria. Nine million people become ill with TB each year and more than a million and a half of those will die from it. Some symptoms of tuberculosis are:

  • A long-lasting severe cough
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood

While it is known that people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to contracting tuberculosis, new studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels are associated with latent tuberculosis (when a person carries tuberculosis but has no symptoms). 

Latent tuberculosis is often a precursor to active tuberculosis, so preventing the contraction of the latent form is the best measure to stay healthy. In a 2019 study of more than 6,000 people, the participants with Vitamin D levels of less than 12 ng/ml were twice as likely to have latent tuberculosis. In the same study, participants with a Vitamin D level of more than 30 ng/ml had the lowest probability of having latent tuberculosis.

If you’re interested in checking your Vitamin D levels, you can purchase a home testing kit here.