Vitamins help fight diseases

There have been several scientific journal articles showing the benefits of vitamins especially when it comes to fighting diseases.

Vitamin E increases antibiotics effectiveness by preventing bacteria from sequestering antibiotics.

The most recent study demonstrates vitamin E increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics by preventing Burkholderia cenocepacia from developing antibiotic resistance through binding and sequestering the antibiotics with bacterial lipocalin proteins (BCN) (Halfawy et al., mBio, 2017). This bacteria is found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients that routinely require a panel of fat soluble vitamins to boost their immune system. Of the many, Vitamin E is added to this list and it has been labeled as anti-oxidant, but many are not receiving the right amounts because it degrades quickly after cooking or heat treatment.

For chronic fatigue syndrome, many are still looking for some remedy to alleviate this tragic disease that completely disables even the healthiest persons. Yet, a recent Nature News article mentioned that microbes might perturb vitamin B6 production (Maxmen et al., Nature News, 2017; in press). Vitamin B6 operates in many metabolic processes, so one of the many dietary changes include consuming more Vitamin B6 to reduce fatigue (Naviaux et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016).

Of course, there are tons of vitamin supplements given to cancer patients to boost immunity and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy with antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin E (Stanford HealthCare). A study done between UC Berkeley and Stanford shows increased levels of Vitamin A (retinoic acid) and increased CD8 T cells in human colorectal cancer tissue (Bhattacharya et al., Immunity, 2016).

Fat soluble vitamins are difficult to absorb for many people suffering from cystic fibrosis. They are typically given supplements, which helps manage their symptoms and increasing their immune response (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation).

As more studies begin to reveal vitamin’s function and effects on metabolic pathways, we are still early in understanding the effectiveness of vitamins in supplementing the deficiencies and whether it reduces the symptoms of the disease. For many, vitamins is a way to take the edge off of an uphill battle through their disease while others might feel a boost in energy to help them go through the day. And if supplemented for the correct deficiencies and given at the proper doses, vitamins can be powerful in optimizing one’s health.