Vitamin Supplementation May Benefit COPD Patients

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, and mucus production. It is considered to be a group of progressive diseases that cause breathing-related issues and airflow blockage, with chronic bronchitis and emphysema being the most common. This disease is often preventable and treatable. Though there are medications available to treat COPD, there are also immune-boosting vitamins that can help lessen the symptoms.

Vitamins Beneficial for COPD

Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that are beneficial for people with chronic respiratory disease because they have oxygen-regulating properties. A study found that COPD patients with a diet of foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E had overall improved lung function. All three vitamins boost immunity which is beneficial to people with COPD. You can get your daily dose of these vitamins through supplementation or food. Vitamin A can be found in cod liver oil, green leafy vegetables, carrots, squash, broccoli, cantaloupe, and mangoes. And for Vitamin C intake through diet, you can eat foods like tomatoes, dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, and citrus fruits. Vitamin E rich foods are green leafy vegetables, and nuts and seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds).

Vitamin D can reduce the symptoms of COPD by getting a proper daily dose through supplementation, foods, or getting outside into the sunlight. There are two key effects of vitamin D on the immune system and that is why it lessens the symptoms of COPD. First, it can boost your body’s immune response to respiratory viruses, and second, it decreases inflammatory responses. It is essential to get your vitamin D levels checked by a medical professional to make sure that you are not deficient. If you are deficient, work with your doctor on proper supplementation whether through vitamins, foods, or getting enough sunlight. Foods that are rich in vitamin D are salmon, mackerel, tuna, cheese, egg yolks, and beef liver.

NAC has been shown, in studies, to decrease the symptoms associated with COPD. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant supplement that can thin mucus, and reduce cough and phlegm production. Supplementation and dosage will depend on what your doctor recommends; therefore, it is essential to consult with a medical professional before starting NAC supplementation.

Precautions

Before starting new vitamin supplementation, it is recommended that you consult with a medical professional to review potential interactions with current medications and discuss proper doses.

Sources: Lung Institute, Healthline
Photo: Pexels

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