(NaturalHealth365) A new study has found antioxidants to be extremely helpful in supporting healthy lung functioning and preventing COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
COPD is a disease of the lungs that results in obstruction due to the airways becoming inflamed and thick. This in turn leads to progressive symptoms such as a persistent cough and shortness of breath. COPD is mainly associated with smoking cigarettes, which causes ROS (reactive oxygen species) in the lungs.
Antioxidants – especially vitamin C – offer support and protection for the lungs
However, the consumption of dietary antioxidants such as vitamin C has been known to have a positive antioxidant effect on the lungs. These nutrients seem to help prevent ROS damage and preserve lung health.
It has already been established that those who eat diets rich in vegetables and fruits have healthier lungs. Fruits and vegetables are known for their high antioxidant content, making an increased consumption of them a potential effective strategy for decreasing risk of contracting COPD in the lungs.
In the cohort study titled “The effect of dietary antioxidant on the COPD risk: the community-based KoGES (Ansan–Anseong),” researchers noted that in Asia–Pacific areas, COPD incidence have decreased, while they have increased in South Korea. The findings were published on Dove Press, an open access health news platform.
Antioxidants and vitamin C reduce COPD risk across numerous demographics
To help substantiate the findings about antioxidants and lung health, researchers collected data from the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study (KoGES), a community-based cohort that included subjects from rural and urban areas of the country. A total of 6,781 persons with COPD risk were analyzed and followed up with for a total of two years.
Antioxidant intake as well as lung functioning were measured regularly. Researchers looked for signs of ROS and other lung health issues throughout the two years.
A higher risk for COPD was found in persons who smoked, but there was also a COPD correlation with persons of lower household incomes, less education, and lower BMI (body mass index). However, these risk factors for COPD could be mitigated with antioxidant intake. There seemed to be a direct correlation between the amount of antioxidants ingested and a lowered risk of COPD regardless of lifestyle and economic factors.
Another important reason to eat more fruits and vegetables
Researchers observed a marked increase in health in subjects directly correlating with the consumption of antioxidants. Those at risk for COPD showed a dramatic improvement in lung health when they began to consume an antioxidant-rich diet. Vitamin C and E seemed to be particularly helpful against the disease.
We all know the benefits of eating our fruits and vegetables – especially those with high antioxidant content. Leafy greens, brightly colored vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are all intelligent choices.
Fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, apples, and avocado offer a high degree of healthy antioxidants and other life-supporting nutrients. So, as you can see, if your lung health needs improvement – start with improving the diet. (it’s worth the effort)
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