Fact or Myth: Does Vitamin D Protect the Lung Functions of Smokers?

This is a FACT.

Whether or not you smoke, evidence about the ill effects of smoking to your health is well-known. Former smokers can experience the backlash of smoking for years after quitting.

Heart disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), frequent bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia, even cancer are common results of being a smoker.

How Are Your Lungs Protected With Vitamin D?

Scientists have discovered that people with poor lung function are also vitamin D deficient.

Nancy E. Lange, MD, MPH, of the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital said, “We examined the relationship between vitamin D deficiency, smoking, lung function, and the rate of lung function decline over a 20 year period. We found that vitamin D sufficiency had a protective effect on lung function and the rate of lung function decline in smokers.”

Between 1984 and 2003, participant lung function was evaluated 3 times. Those who were vitamin D deficient had sharper declines in lung function than did those who had sufficient levels of the vitamin in their systems.

Dr. Lange explains, “Our results suggest that vitamin D might modify the damaging effects of smoking on lung function. These effects might be due to vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”

According to doctors, if vitamin D benefits can protect the lungs from smoking, its benefits can be applied to other lung damaging influences such as air pollution.

Both the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Harvard University have confirmed the link between vitamin D and lung health.

Patients who had more vitamin D in their systems also had a higher rate of survival after lung cancer surgery. Further studies are needed to determine the complete benefits of vitamin D benefits to your total body health.

Inflammation and oxidative stress caused by free radicals are the primary cause for decreased lung function, explains Dr. Ray Sahelian, an alternative medicine expert. Smoking increases both.

Vitamin D benefits can effectively lower the inflammation, neutralize free radical damage, and protect your lungs naturally.

On average, people who smoke live 6.5 years less than people who don’t smoke. Each cigarette costs a smoker 11 minutes of their lifetime. The sooner you quit, the longer you will live. That is a proven fact.

Still need more incentive to quit? According to QuitNow.gov.au, your body begins to repair itself within hours of your last cigarette…

  • After 12 hours almost all the nicotine is flushed from your system.
  • After 24 hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and you are getting more oxygen in your bloodstream.
  • After 5 days most nicotine by-products have dissipated.
  • Within days your sense of taste and smell improves.

The benefits from not smoking are obvious, including the fact that 15 years after quitting your risk of heart attack or stroke is the same as that of someone who has never smoked in his life. vitamin d benefits

Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, asthma and COPD, but it also negatively affects your skin, your heart and blood vessels, your digestion, your sleep, your bone density, and your sexual health.

The American Cancer Society reports that you can even reverse some of the damage from years of smoking by following these steps:

  • Exercise at least 30 minutes each day no less than 3 days a week. Smoking causes blood vessels to narrow and results in a lack of oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to areas that have been neglected due to smoking. You’ll feel the difference in your heart and lungs and see the difference in your skin.
  • Eat right by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains to your diet. Eat fewer meats and dairy products and cut out fried foods and fast foods as much as you can.
  • Hydrate! The Mayo Clinic recommends no less than 8 glasses of water each day to flush smoke-related toxins from your body. Staying hydrated improves the look of your skin and helps control appetite.

One year after you quit, your risk for heart disease drops by half. After 10 years, your risk for lung cancer does as well.

Vitamin D benefits protects your lungs right now and improves lung function when you quit smoking. Wouldn’t you like to breathe easier?