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Vitamin E may increase or decrease the risk of pneumonia, depending on smoking and exercise

Date:
February 24, 2011
Source:
University of Helsinki
Summary:
Depending on the level of smoking and leisure time exercise, vitamin E supplementation may decrease or increase, or may have no effect, on the risk of pneumonia, according to a study by researchers in Finland.

Depending on the level of smoking and leisure time exercise, vitamin E supplementation may decrease or increase, or may have no effect, on the risk of pneumonia, according to a study published in Clinical Epidemiology.

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In laboratory studies, vitamin E has influenced the immune system. In several animal studies vitamin E protected against viral and bacterial infections. However, the importance of vitamin E on human infections is not known.

Dr. Harri Hemilδ and Prof. Jaakko Kaprio, of the University of Helsinki, Finland, studied the effect of vitamin E on the risk of pneumonia in the large randomized trial (Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study) which was conducted in Finland between 1985-1993. There were 898 cases of pneumonia among 29,133 participants of the study.

Vitamin E had no overall effect on pneumonia risk. However, vitamin E decreased pneumonia risk by 69% among participants who had the least exposure to smoking and exercised during leisure time. In contrast, vitamin E increased pneumonia risk by 79% among those who had the highest exposure to smoking and did not exercise.

Over half of the participants were outside of these two subgroups and vitamin E did not affect their risk of pneumonia. Thus, the beneficial and harmful effects of vitamin E are restricted to fairly small parts of the population. The researchers concluded the role of vitamin E in susceptibility to pneumonia in physically active nonsmokers warrants further study.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Harri Hemilδ, Jaakko Kaprio. Subgroup analysis of large trials can guide further research: a case study of vitamin E and pneumonia. Clinical Epidemiology, 2011; 51 DOI: 10.2147/CLEP.S16114

Cite This Page:

University of Helsinki. "Vitamin E may increase or decrease the risk of pneumonia, depending on smoking and exercise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110217104951.htm>.
University of Helsinki. (2011, February 24). Vitamin E may increase or decrease the risk of pneumonia, depending on smoking and exercise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110217104951.htm
University of Helsinki. "Vitamin E may increase or decrease the risk of pneumonia, depending on smoking and exercise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110217104951.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

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