Centre National pour la Tuberculose et les Maladies Pulmonaires

Effects of sunlight and diet on vitamin D status of pulmonary tuberculosis patients in Tbilisi, Georgia

Desai NS, Tukvadze N, Frediani JK, Kipiani M, Sanikidze E, Nichols MM, Hebbar G, Kempker RR, Mirtskhulava V, Kalandadze I, Seydafkan S, Sutaria N, Chen TC, Blumberg HM, Ziegler TR, Tangpricha V.

Nutrition. 2012 Apr;28(4):362-6



Vitamin D deficiency is common in tuberculosis (TB) and this may modulate immune responses. This study investigated vitamin D status in patients with TB and examined the sources of vitamin D in Tbilisi, Georgia.


We measured plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and dietary vitamin D intake in patients with pulmonary TB (n = 85) in Tbilisi, Georgia. To determine the impact of season on vitamin D status, we tested the in vitro conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to previtamin D(3) after sunlight exposure.


In subjects with TB, mean plasma 25(OH)D concentrations were 14.4 ± 7.0 ng/mL, and vitamin D insufficiency (25[OH]D <30 ng/mL) occurred in 97% of subjects. The dietary sources of vitamin D were mainly fish, eggs, and butter. The daily intake was well below recommended daily intakes in subjects with TB (172 ± 196 IU). The conversion of 7-DHC to previtamin D(3) was undetectable from October to March and highest in June and July from 11:00 to 14:00 h.


An insufficient vitamin D dietary intake and a limited production of vitamin D from sunlight for most of the year may explain the high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in patients with TB in Tbilisi.

PubMed website