Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies Find Eating Fruits And Vegetables Good For Lungs

Date:
May 22, 2001
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Eating fruits and vegetables appears to reduce the risk of developing some types of lung disease and may even improve lung function, according to research presented today at the American Thoracic Society’s 97th International Conference.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eating fruits and vegetables appears to reduce the risk of developing some types of lung disease and may even improve lung function, according to research presented today at the American Thoracic Society’s 97th International Conference here.

Related Articles


"There is extensive evidence from studies over the last 10 to 15 years that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial to lung health," said Carol Trenga, Ph.D., Research Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, who moderated a press panel on diet and lung health. "The most compelling evidence is linked to fruits high in vitamin C, which are associated with improved lung function in the general population of adults and children."

Fruits and Vegetables Can Reduce COPD Risk in Smokers

Eating moderate portions of fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in smokers, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society conference.

The study found that eating one-and-a-half pieces of fruit or a large tablespoonful of vegetables every day can protect against COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis).

Louise Watson, MSc, who conducted the research at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, wanted to know why approximately 15% of smokers develop COPD, while many smokers do not. Her study included current and former smokers with and without COPD who filled out a questionnaire about their food intake over the previous year. The 266 participants had at least 10 pack years of smoking history (meaning they had smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day, every day per year). She found that vegetable intake of one or more portions per day (equivalent to one or more tablespoons) almost halved the risk of the disease. Eating one-and-a-half pieces of fruit or more per day also significantly protected against COPD.

Watson noted that the best way for smokers to prevent lung disease and heart disease is to quit smoking. "Regarding diet, this research suggests that a moderate intake of fruit and vegetables may be protective against developing COPD and therefore the diet ought to contain at least 1-2 portions per day of fruit and 1 portion per day of vegetables as part of a healthy and varied diet," she said.

Apples and Tomatoes May Protect Against Respiratory Disease

A diet high in fruit, especially apples and tomatoes, may protect against respiratory illness, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society conference.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, studied the relationship between diet and self-reported wheeze, doctor-diagnosed asthma and lung function in 2,633 adults. They found that eating five or more apples per week or at least three tomatoes a week were most strongly associated with increased lung function. Eating a lot of apples and tomatoes also reduced the risk of wheezing.

Lead researcher Sarah Lewis, Ph.D., notes that it is not known what nutrients in apples and tomatoes protect against lung problems. "The likelihood is that any effect is due to the concerted action of all the nutrients in apples and tomatoes, especially the antioxidants that are particularly rich in the peel of apples and contribute to the coloring of tomatoes," she said. "Antioxidants may work by protecting the airways against the insult of tobacco smoke and other atmospheric pollutants."

Lewis said it is not yet known whether the beneficial effects of these foods acts in the same way throughout a person’s life or whether the effects are limited to, or stronger in, particular periods such as early in life or in childhood. "To try to sort this out we have been conducting a nine-year follow-up of this population, and so far we have found some evidence that eating these fruits may have some protective effect against long-term decline in lung function," she said. "This suggests, though by no means conclusively, that it is not a once and for all effect in childhood, and that eating these types of food in adulthood continues to effect our lung health. However, how much and for how long remains unknown."

Dr. Trenga, the moderator, said she believes there is now enough evidence from many studies supporting the beneficial effects of a diet containing modest amounts of fruits and vegetables on lung health. "Although more controlled trials are needed with specific nutrients to clearly identify the most beneficial substances and clarify some of the mechanisms of action, there is reasonable scientific evidence indicating a positive effect of dietary supplementation of certain nutrients in high risk populations," she said.

"It is both good public health policy and preventive medical practice to advocate increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, encouraging the goal of 5 servings a day. And it is reasonable to suggest modest supplementation with for example, vitamin C (250-500 mg twice/day) and vitamin E (up to 400 IU per day), in at-risk populations as a complementary therapy after considering the specific needs of the individual patient. These levels are very safe and have other health benefits (such as vitamin E and heart disease) in addition to potentially improving lung health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Studies Find Eating Fruits And Vegetables Good For Lungs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010522073859.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2001, May 22). Studies Find Eating Fruits And Vegetables Good For Lungs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010522073859.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Studies Find Eating Fruits And Vegetables Good For Lungs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010522073859.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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