Vitamins Promote Healthy Lungs

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Vitamin E and a little-known vitamin called beta-crytoxanthin, found primarily in oranges, are associated with healthy lung function, say researchers at the University of Buffalo. They measured blood serum levels of seven antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin E and beta- crytoxanthin, in more than 1,600 volunteers recruited from the area around the university.

In tests measuring the volume of air the subjects could expel in one breath and the volume expelled in one second, the scientists correlated greater lung function with higher serum levels of vitamins. Further analysis revealed that beta-crytoxanthin and vitamin E were most closely related to the two measures of lung function. Participants with half the average concentration of these vitamins in their blood showed a reduction in lung function equivalent to one to two years' aging of the lungs. Low levels of vitamin C and especially vitamin E were associated with the lowest results on the tests.