TB research shows a good diet can cut infections by nearly 50%


  • Y Pillay Stellenbosch University
  • M Pai McGill University


tuberculosis, good diet


For centuries, we have known that tuberculosis is a social disease. It thrives on poverty and social factors such as malnutrition, poor housing, overcrowding, unsafe work environments and stigma.

Globally in 2021 an estimated 2.2 million cases of TB were attributable to undernourishment, 0.86 million to HIV infection, 0.74 million to alcohol use disorders, 0.69 million to smoking and 0.37 million to diabetes.

But knowledge about social determinants alone does not always translate into tangible action and progress. A new trial in India, called RATIONS, aimed to determine the effect of nutritional supplementation on new cases of tuberculosis in households of adults with pulmonary TB. The research found that providing food baskets to people with TB and their households could go a long way to prevent and mitigate the disease.

Author Biographies

Y Pillay, Stellenbosch University

Extraordinary Professor in the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Stellenbosch University

M Pai, McGill University

Canada Research Chair of Epidemiology & Global Health, McGill University, Canada






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