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Vitamins & Minerals That Support Lung Function

Vitamins & Minerals That Support Lung Function

Our lungs are under assault every day from air pollution – chemicals, particulate matter, and biological materials are found in both outdoor and indoor air. Regular inhalation of these toxins can result in lung damage and disease. It is challenging in modern society – especially in cities – to protect the lungs from air pollution. There are things we can do to avoid dirty air such as staying indoors when pollution levels are high, but it is impossible to escape all air pollutants. The lungs need help to be able to function at their best in the face of dirty air. One of the things we can do to aid and protect our lungs is to support them with the proper vitamins and minerals.

Eating organic, whole and fresh foods is an important component of maintaining health, but the stresses of modern life can rob the body of these nutrients. Sometimes we need a little extra boost to ensure that our bodies have adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain proper organ function. With that in mind, here are some vitamins and minerals that are particularly helpful for lung support.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps the mucous membranes in the lungs to function as a barrier to bacteria and viruses. Deficiency in vitamin A diminishes the ability of the lungs (and the body) to fight infections.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that destroys free radicals in the body – including the free radicals in the lungs that can be the result of breathing contaminated air. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means the leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine – water-soluble vitamins need to be constantly replenished in the body. Vitamin C is not made by the body, which means we need to supply the body from an external source.

Vitamin D: One of the benefits of vitamin D to the lungs is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation in the lungs makes it difficult to breathe and also lowers the ability of the lungs to function properly.

Magnesium: Magnesium acts as a bronchodilator, which decreases resistance in the airway and increases airflow to the lungs. It is believed that low magnesium intake may be involved in the origin of asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease.

Selenium: Like vitamin C, selenium is an anti-oxidant that plays an important role in preventing cellular damage from free radicals. It has been shown that selenium can reduce the incidence of chemically induced cancers, decrease the mutagenic activity of certain carcinogens’ and can inhibit tumor growth in mice.

November is Lung Cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) awareness month. Take some time to educate yourself about these lung diseases. Both of these deadly diseases are preventable, and you can defend yourself by minimizing your risks and supporting your body with the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain healthy lung function.

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