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Emphysema - Smokers can get Healthier Lungs by eating more Fruits and Vegetable containing Beta Carotene and Vitamin E

March 24th, 2006

Emphysema - Smokers can get Healthier Lungs by eating more Fruits and Vegetable containing Beta Carotene and Vitamin E

Carrots are high in beta carotene

Researchers measured beta carotene levels in blood samples of men and women and found that those that had higher levels also had better lung function.  If you are a smoker, you probably think about lung cancer and emphysema and know that the best thing to do is quit smoking altogether.  In the mean time you might want to consider eating foods rich in beta carotene as well.

This study suggests that by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in beta-carotene, like carrots and sweet potatoes can help your lungs breathe better over time.  The researchers also measured for vitamin E and found this to be helpful too.

According to a recent Ivanhoe publication, there were approximately 1,200 men and women between the ages of 20 - 44 that participated.  In 1992, the participants had blood test to measure their level of beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E.  They also did a lung function test when the blood sample was taken.  The lung function test measures the volume of air exhaled after one second of taking a deep breath.  The test is called FEV1 and is used to determine a personís lung function.


In the year 2000 the researchers checked the participants again for the beta carotene levels and also performed the same lung function test.  What was discovered is interesting.  The people that had higher levels of beta carotene levels measured in 1992 and in 2000 had less decline in lung function.  There also was a positive effect for those that increased their beta carotene levels from the beginning of the study.  When the beta carotene increased the lung function decline was better than those that had maintained low levels of beta carotene levels during the duration of the study.

Smokers were at the largest decline of lung function.  The smokers tended to have lower levels of beta carotene and vitamin E.  The researchers of this study believe that beta carotene and vitamin E help to protect the lungs from getting damaged. 


Emphysema also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused a person to have a decreased ability to breath because of damage to air sacs in the lung.  If damage has already occurred it may not be reversible with the dietary changes.  The lung health benefits might be seen by increasing dietary intake of beta carotene and vitamin E in people that have not caused excessive damage to their lungs.

The researchers recommend smokers eat plenty of beta carotene and vitamin E throughout there lifetime to increase lung health.  Foods that have high levels of beta carotene are carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, sweet red peppers, cantaloupes, and apricots.  Foods that contain high levels of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, and cooking oils.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Keywords and misspellings:  emphisma C.O.P.D. cornary obstuctive palmonary diseese coranary micro-vascular disfunction smokers air sack dammaged difficulty breething astmha and bronchial loungs lunges emphasema emphazema


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM