Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious condition that interferes with proper breathing. Diseases associated with COPD actually block airflow as you exhale and make it hard to breath. Two common conditions associated with COPD are emphysema and chronic asthmatic bronchitis. But there are things one can do to to protect against the disease. One study found that vitamin E may serve as a protectant for the lungs and also help prevent against COPD.
For the study, women over the age of 45 were given therapeutic vitamin E supplements to see if there would be a reduction in the severity or onset of COPD. Results indicated that long term use of vitamin E did reduce the development of COPD by 10%. What’s more, these findings were surprisingly true for both smokers and non-smokers.
In 2000, it was estimated that approximately 16 million people suffered with COPD. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that 2.74 million people actually died from COPD in the ear 2000. This puts it sharing 4th and 5th place with HIV/AIDS as one of the leading causes of death in the world. The WHO estimates that it will rise to the 3rd position by 2020 at the rate it is increasing.
Although COPD is more common in those that smoke, more and more people living in areas with high pollution are developing the condition even if they do not smoke. With air pollution rates so high in the United States, it is wise that vitamin E daily to help protect the lungs.
Where to find Vitamin E
In addition to supplementation, try to consume some foods rich in vitamin E each day. Here are a few vitamin E-rich foods:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine nuts
- Herbs like basil and oregano
- Dried Apricots
- Swiss chard
- Mustard greens
- Hazel nuts
Lastly, be aware of how much vitamin E you may be ingesting each day. You probably have little to worry about unless supplementing, but too much vitamin E can be harmful to the body. While the recommended dosage varies from professional to professional, many agree that anywhere from 300-700 IU/day can be taken safely and without concern.