Researchers Suggest Vitamin E May Help to Protect Lungs from Air Pollution
Researchers at King’s College London and the University of Nottingham say that foods rich in vitamin E, such as avocado and spinach, could possibly help to limit the damage caused to lungs by air pollution.
The study of 5,500 volunteers found a link between the amount of vitamin E in the body and lung function after being exposed to particle pollution. Tests showed that those with higher exposure to particle matter had a lower concentration of vitamin E in their blood.
Particle matter is believed to be one of the main air pollutants that is harmful to health, so the correlation suggests that sufficient intake of vitamin E could help to reduce the negative impact of air pollution. However, the study only suggests a link, and does not specifically demonstrate a protective function from vitamin E.
“Our work builds on a number of studies exploring whether some vitamins can counteract the negative effect on lungs caused by air pollution,” says Dr Ana Valdes, Reader at the University of Nottingham, one of the study’s authors.
“These new findings are consistent with previous reports which observed lower levels of vitamin E in people with lung conditions such as asthma,” says co-author Professor Frank Kelly, Head of the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London. “However, we do not yet fully understand which types of particulate pollution specifically damage the lungs or which vitamins best interfere with this pathway to reduce the level of damage.”