Indonesia—Vitamin D given to D-insufficient children with tuberculosis (TB) may help resolve cough and fever, according to a new study published inJournal of Global Health.

The researchers noted that previous studies in adults have shown a strong association between vitamin D and tuberculosis, both in terms of vitamin D status and in terms of the benefits of vitamin D in managing TB. Studies in children, however, are lacking, particularly in Indonesia, the country with the second-highest TB incidence globally.

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed on 84 Indonesian children aged 6 to 18 years old, diagnosed with both pulmonary TB and vitamin D insufficiency. 80 patients completed the six-month follow-up. Half the patients received either 1000 IU vitamin D or placebo daily after starting standard TB treatment.

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The researchers found that the vitamin D group saw faster resolution of fever and cough, as well as a higher vitamin D level and improved malnutrition status compared to the placebo group (all p<0.001).

The researchers concluded: “Vitamin D is beneficial in improving fever and cough resolution, and improving nutritional status in children with pulmonary TB and vitamin D insufficiency.”