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RI Ejemot-Nwadiaro
GM Nja
EH Itam
EN Ezedinachi

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RI Ejemot-Nwadiaro
GM Nja
EH Itam
EN Ezedinachi

Issues in Biological Sciences and Pharmaceutical Research
Vol.7(2),pp.25-34, August 2019
ISSN 2350-1588
Available online at
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.

Original Research Article

Does ascorbic acid supplementation improve treatment outcomes in adults with pulmonary tuberculosis?

Regina I. Ejemot-Nwadiaro1*, Glory M. Nja1, Edisua H. Itam2, and Emmanuel N. Ezedinachi3

1Department of Public Health, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
3Calabar Institute of Tropical Diseases Research and Prevention, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria.

*Corresponding Author Email: reginaejemot(at)

date Received: June 4, 2019     date Accepted: July 26, 2019     date Published: August 13, 2019


Tuberculosis (TB) endemicity is rife in over one-third of the world’s population. Globally, over 13% of new cases die yearly, making TB one of the deadliest infectious diseases. Nutritional supplementation, principally micronutrients may play significant role in reducing TB burden. The study assessed the effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on treatment outcomes in adults with pulmonary TB. Participants consisted of out-patients attending the Dr. Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria. Of 182 patients assessed for eligibility, 81 met inclusion criteria. Intervention group received anti-TB drugs plus oral supplement of ascorbic acid (50mg/day) for 60 days. Control group received only anti-TB drugs. Anthropometric, clinical, bacteriological and haematological parameters were assessed at baseline and two months post-treatment. Patients in the intervention group (14.6%) had positive acid fast bacilli at endline against 25% in the control group (RR: 059; CI 95% 0.23 to 1.46). Similarly, intervention group had significantly lower proportion of patients (7.3%) with serum ascorbate levels below lower ranges (< 0.4 mg/dl), compared to control group (25%);(p=0.023). Baseline figures; body weight (p = 0.04); total body fat (p = 0.028); Karnofsky index score (p = 0.04); and haematological parameters assessed increased in favor of intervention group. Observations suggest positive effects of supplementation of ascorbic acid on TB treatment outcomes irrespective of TB-HIV co-infection status.

Key words: Tuberculosis, ascorbic acid supplementation, tuberculosis treatment, Nigeria.

Ejemot-Nwadiaro et al