Tuesday January 21, 2020

Vitamin D Helps Body Clear TB Bugs: Study

For the study, researchers included 1,850 patients who received antibiotic treatment.

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Vitamin D helps combat drug-resistant TB
Vitamin D pills can prevent TB disease. Pixabay

Vitamin D, commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin”, can combat tuberculosis (TB) bacteria found in the lungs of people with multi-drug resistant TB, according to latest research.

The study showed that when added to antibiotic treatment, vitamin D was found to treat TB specifically in patients with multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

The vitamin D supplementation was also found to be safe at the doses administered, with no links to serious adverse events, findings further revealed in the European Respiratory Journal.

Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing TB.
Vitamin D is best known for its effects on bone health. Pixabay

“Multi-drug resistant TB is on the rise globally. It’s notoriously difficult to treat, and it carries a much worse prognosis than standard TB,” said Lead Researcher Adrian Martineau, Professor from Queen Mary University of London.

“Our study raises the possibility that vitamin D — which is very safe and inexpensive — could benefit this hard-to-treat group of patients by taking a novel approach to their treatment,” said Martineau.

The immune system could be given a boost by adding vitamin D to antibiotic treatment to help the body clear TB bugs, rather than relying on antibiotics on their own to kill the bacteria directly, the study suggested.

Vitamin D acts as an antibiotic treatment.
Vitamin D boosts the immune system. Pixabay

While vitamin D is best known for its effects on bone health, previous studies have shown its role in protecting against colds, flu, asthma attacks, and that it can also protect chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients from deadly lung attacks.

MDR TB is caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with at least two of the most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs, causing around 500,000 cases and 150,000 deaths per year worldwide, the study noted.

ALSO READ: As Per Study, High-Risk HPV Lead to Increased CVD

For the study, researchers included 1,850 patients who received antibiotic treatment. (IANS)

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5 Health Tests That Women Should Undergo

Here are 5 health tests every woman should have in 2020

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women health
he fast-changing lifestyle and juggling career with bringing up children sooner or later begins to take a toll on women's health. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

Indian women often tend to put their own needs on the backburner, preferring to tend to home and family first. However, the fast-changing lifestyle and juggling career with bringing up children sooner or later begins to take a toll on their health. Many common health problems in women can be prevented or effectively tackled by undergoing testing for the following five health tests, suggested by Dr Kirti Chadha, Sr. Vice President with Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.

Anaemia

Anaemia, the most common blood disorder, is a condition in which a person lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues or organs. Women are especially at risk of iron-deficiency anaemia because of blood loss from their periods. India carries the highest burden of anaemia despite having an anaemia control programme running for the last 50 years. About 58.6% of children, 53.2% of non-pregnant women and 50.4% of pregnant women in India were found to be anaemic in 2016, as per the National Family Health Survey.

women health
Women are especially at risk of iron-deficiency anaemia because of blood loss from their periods and this affects their health. Pixabay

The normal haemoglobin level for women is 12 gram per decilitre (g/dlL). All women should get tested for anaemia at least once a year. The test will look for the size and colour of red blood cells, haematocrit, haemoglobin and ferritin levels.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Researchers have linked vitamin D deficiency with increased risk of poor bone health and depression in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Symptoms include bone pain, muscle weakness and fatigue. Women often do not get enough Vitamin D from their diet or being exposed to sunlight, and end up being deficient. Having optimum levels of vitamin D is very important for overall health and well-being of a person.

The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. A level of 20 nanograms/millilitre to 50 ng/mL is considered adequate for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/mL indicates vitamin D deficiency.

Calcium Deficiency

As women get older, they become more prone to osteoporosis (reduced density and quality of bone). A good healthy diet is enough to provide all the calcium that our body needs. However, women do not realise they have low calcium levels until they have suffered bone loss or fracture.

Women should undergo a blood test once a year to check for levels of calcium, albumin and ionized or free calcium. Sustained low calcium levels of below 8.8 mg/dL may confirm a diagnosis of calcium deficiency disease (Hypocalcemia).

women health
Many common health problems in women can be prevented or effectively tackled by undergoing testing. Pixabay

Pap Smears and Pelvic Exams

Women should start undergoing these exams every year from the age of 21, or even earlier if they are sexually active. This is important to reduce their risk of cervical cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in women due to cancer. Cervical cancer can be entirely avoided through regular screening.

A pelvic exam will generally include an external visual exam to check for irritation, redness, sores, swelling or other abnormalities, followed by an internal visual exam. A pap smear test is conducted to examine cervical cells and check for any abnormal growth in the uterus and the cervix.

Barring any other problems, women aged 30 and above need a pap smear once every three years if they have had three normal tests in a row.

Mammograms and Breast Exams

All prevention tests in women start early, and so is the case for the exam to check for breast cancer. A manual exam where a doctor tests for lumps and abnormalities is recommended starting around age 20 up to until 40 years.

Also Read- Researchers Develop AI Tool To Detect Mental Health Issues

A mammogram is a screening test for breast cancer and involves applying moderate compression to the breasts so that X-ray images can be captured. Mammograms are done every one or two years beginning at age 40, as recommended by the American Cancer Society. (IANS)