Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin Supplements May Help Asthmatics Cope With Air Pollution

Date:
May 20, 1997
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Simply taking antioxidant vitamins could help asthmatics exposed to polluted air breathe easier, according to preliminary results of a double blind study conducted at the University of Washington.

Related Articles


SAN FRANCISCO -- Simply taking antioxidant vitamins could help asthmatics exposed to polluted air breathe easier.

Preliminary results of a double blind study indicate that adults with asthma who took daily supplements of both vitamins E and C showed improved pulmonary function, compared to when they took a placebo, after being exposed to two common air pollutants, ozone and sulfur dioxide.

Ozone is formed from precursors in automobile exhaust, while sulfur dioxide is emitted from pulp mills, coal burning and other industrial processes.

"Our results show that a combination of antioxidant vitamins can benefit people with asthma who are sensitive to air pollutants," said lead author Dr. Carol Trenga, who conducted the study while completing doctoral research at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Co-author of the study is Dr. Jane Koenig, an international expert on the respiratory health effects of air pollution.

Trenga presented her preliminary findings on Tuesday, May 20, at the American Lung Association/American Thoracic Society International Conference.

The study monitored pulmonary function in 17 asthmatic volunteers, who took a daily course of vitamins E and C (400 I.U. and 500 mg., respectively) and a daily course of placebo for separate five-week periods.

Near the end of each course, participants received separate, 45-minute exposures to purified air and ozone at the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (0.12 p.p. million). To measure effects of ozone exposure, volunteers then were exposed to two 10-minute sulfur dioxide challenges.

Test results showed an overall decrease in sensitivity to ozone exposure when volunteers took vitamins as compared to placebo. Improvements in pulmonary function were especially dramatic in a subset of six volunteers. While on vitamin supplementation, this group had a 5 percent increase in peak expiratory flow during the sulfur dioxide challenges after ozone exposure compared to a 13 percent decrease in peak expiratory flow for the same period while on placebo. These volunteers were previously identified as more sensitive to sulfur dioxide.

Trenga explains vitamins E, which is fat soluble, and C, which is water soluble, complement one another, helping increase the potential to reduce oxidative damage in the lungs. When polluted air comes in contact with the lung lining fluid, vitamin C is part of the body's first line of defense, serving to reduce both ozone and free radicals formed by ozone exposure. Vitamin E helps reduce lipid radicals and can be regenerated by vitamin C. People with asthma may not be the only ones who could benefit from antioxidant vitamin supplements. Increases in daily vitamin intake may also benefit others exposed to chronic oxidative stress such as smokers or industrial workers, Trenga said.

She adds that future research should focus on linkages between nutritional factors and toxicity and disease. This would include investigating whether regular antioxidant vitamin intake could ultimately reduce the need for medication or frequency of use among people with asthma.

###


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Vitamin Supplements May Help Asthmatics Cope With Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/05/970520174327.htm>.
University of Washington. (1997, May 20). Vitamin Supplements May Help Asthmatics Cope With Air Pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/05/970520174327.htm
University of Washington. "Vitamin Supplements May Help Asthmatics Cope With Air Pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/05/970520174327.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins