A new study suggests sun-exposed oyster mushrooms could help treat patients with tuberculosis (TB). Exposure to sunlight helps these mushrooms produce vitamin D, which helps the body to produce an antimicrobial compound that can attack the bacteria that causes TB. Even though sun exposure can boost our vitamin D levels, we need to obtain a good amount of it through food.
"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," researcher TibebeSelassie Seyoum Keflie, told a news portal. Adding, "This source of vitamin D is ideal for low-income countries because mushrooms can easily be distributed and administered in a safe, low-cost, easy-to-replicate manner."
For the study, a group of TB patients were provided with sandwich bread that contained 146 micrograms of vitamin D derived from sun-exposed oyster mushrooms. The participants had to consume the sandwich for four months every morning. They were also given an anti-TB drug. The results showed close to 95 per cent of the patients were classified with the lowest TB severity score on a scale of 1 to 5.
"This is the first time that vitamin D derived from oyster mushrooms exposed to sun has been shown to be a potential adjunctive therapy for TB," Keflie told a news portal. Adding, "With educational outreach, it might be possible to teach people with TB to irradiate their own mushroom for a brief period before cooking," he added. The study's findings were presented at the Nutrition 2019 meeting, which is held in Baltimore (US) between June 8and June 11.
Tuberculosis reportedly kills more people across the globe than any other infection. Previous research has found an antibiotic in soil, which could help treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). This treatment can destroy the mutant bacteria, which is the source of the disease.Researchers say consuming vegetables like carrots, spinach and broccoli can help lower your risk of the disease.