Health In Focus
  • Consumption of sun-exposed oyster mushrooms, a rich source of vitamin D, helps tuberculosis (TB) patients fight the infection
  • TB remains one of the most lethal infectious diseases, especially in low-income countries, accounting for about 1.6 million deaths each year and drug-resistant strains make treatments even more difficult
  • Oyster mushrooms can support first-line anti-TB drugs and are ideal for low-income countries since they are safe, inexpensive, readily available and easy to distribute to patients

Sun-exposed oyster mushrooms, which is a rich source of vitamin D, helps tuberculosis (TB) patients fight the infection better by boosting their immune system as well as improving their response to treatment, according to a recent study done at the University of Hohenheim, Germany by TibebeSelassie Seyoum Keflie, a doctoral fellow along with Hans Konrad Biesalski.
Sun-Exposed Oyster Mushrooms Aid in Tuberculosis Treatment

The findings of the study will be presented at Nutrition 2019, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition.

Sun-exposed Oyster Mushrooms in Tuberculosis Patients

  • The study team gave one set of TB patients (treatment group) sandwich bread fortified with 146 micrograms of vitamin D obtained from sun-exposed oyster mushrooms daily during the first four months of antituberculosis treatment
  • After four months, 95 percent of patients who were given the fortified sandwich was found to fall in the category of the severity of TB on a scale of 1 to 5
  • The treatment group were found to have significantly greater vitamin D levels compared to
  • participants who did not receive the fortified bread. Over a third of the treatment group were no longer vitamin D deficient following four months of vitamin D from sun-dried oyster mushrooms
Thus, the findings of the study suggest that adding sun-exposed oyster mushrooms to the diet of patients receiving anti-tuberculosis treatment improves their ability to fight the infection as well as response to treatment.

How Do Sun-Exposed Oyster Mushrooms Help TB Patients?

Prior studies have shown that vitamin D (from sun-dried oyster mushrooms) stimulates the body to form an antimicrobial compound that is effective against the tuberculosis-causing bacteria. Although sun exposure can increase vitamin D levels, dietary sources become necessary when exposure to the sun is limited.

The study team chose oyster mushrooms since they are a safe inexpensive and readily available source of vitamin D that can be easily obtained by patients and also easily absorbed into the body.

Interestingly, fresh oyster mushrooms contain little or no vitamin D, and the fungus forms vitamin D only on exposure to the sun, very similar to the human body.

Future Research Plans

  • The team plans to carry out more research on the effects of vitamin D and immunological responses in bigger and more diverse groups of patients with TB.
  • They are also planning to try out different methods to dry oyster mushrooms in order to determine how the highest levels of vitamin D can be obtained
In summary, giving sun-dried oyster mushrooms to patients receiving anti-TB drugs improve their ability to fight the infection and improves response to drug treatment by boosting their immunity.

References :
  1. Tuberculosis: Sun-Exposed Oyster Mushrooms Improve Drug Response in TB Patients - (

Source: Medindia

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