Vitamin E Can Prevent COPD

Friday, 04 Jun 2010 08:56 AM

 

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Women 45 years old and older who use vitamin E on a regular basis lower their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers at Cornell University and Brigham and Women's Hospital found that both smokers and non-smokers cut their risk by about 10 percent.

"As lung disease develops, damage occurs to sensitive tissues through several proposed processes, including inflammation and damage from free radicals," Anne Hermetet Agler, doctoral candidate with Cornell University's Division of Nutritional Sciences, said in a statement. "Vitamin E may protect the lung against such damage.

"The findings from our study suggest that increasing vitamin E prevents COPD," said Agler. "Previous research found that higher intake of vitamin E was associated with a lower risk of COPD, but the studies were not designed to answer the question of whether increasing vitamin E intake would prevent COPD. Using a large, randomized controlled trial to answer this question provided stronger evidence than previous studies."

Agler and colleagues reviewed data compiled by the Women's Health Study, a multi-year, long-term effort ending in 2004 that focused on the effects of aspirin and vitamin E in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer in nearly 40,000 women aged 45 years and older. Study participants were randomized to receive either 600 mg of vitamin E or a placebo every other day during the course of the research.

Although fewer women taking vitamin E developed COPD, Agler noted the supplements appeared to have no effect on asthma, and women taking vitamin E supplements were diagnosed with asthma at about the same rate as women taking placebo pills. Importantly, Agler noted the decreased risk of COPD in women who were given vitamin E was the same for smokers as for non-smokers.

Agler said further research will explore the way vitamin E affects the lung tissue and function, and will assess the effects of vitamin E supplements on lung diseases in men.

"If results of this study are borne out by further research, clinicians may recommend that women take vitamin E supplements to prevent COPD," Agler noted.



© HealthDay

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