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Vitamin C and zinc for the management of malaria


In this study, researchers from Nigeria and the U.K. evaluated the effects of different combinations of vitamin C and zinc on hematological parameters and the mortality of mice infected with the malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei. Their findings were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

  • According to research, iron and zinc deficiencies are common in areas where malaria is widespread. In fact, these deficiencies contribute to morbidity.
  • Taking vitamin C and zinc supplements is seen as a potential remedy to malaria.
  • To explore this, the researchers conducted a three-week trial to assess hematological changes and the survival of P. berghei-infected mice after a three-day treatment with the antimalarial drug, artemether, combined with vitamin C and zinc supplementation.
  • The mice were grouped based on different ratios of vitamin C and zinc (i.e., 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 60:40 and 50:50).
  • The researchers conducted weekly assays to assess body weight, packed cell volume (PCV), white blood cell count (WBC), red blood cell count (RBC), hemoglobin concentration (HB) and mortality.
  • They reported that mice mortality was higher in the absence of supplementation, although the difference was not significant.
  • Supplementation also did not reduce parasitemia.
  • On the other hand, supplementation with vitamin C-zinc (30:70) increased survival and produced better results (improved PCV and HB) than the other combinations used.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that vitamin C and zinc supplementation offers therapeutic benefits in the management of malaria.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Ekeh FN, Ekechukwu NE, Chukwuma CF, Aguzie IO, Ohanu CM, Ebido C, Oluah SN. MIXED VITAMIN C AND ZINC DIET SUPPLEMENTS CO-ADMINISTERED WITH ARTEMETHER DRUG IMPROVED HAEMATOLOGICAL PROFILE AND SURVIVAL OF MICE INFECTED WITH PLASMODIUM BERGHEI. Food Science and Human Wellness. September 2019;8(3):275–282. DOI: 10.1016/j.fshw.2019.05.003

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