US study claims vitamin E intake could cut risk of lung disease

Long-term, regular use of vitamin E in women 45 years of age and older may help decrease the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about 10 per cent in both smokers and non-smokers, according to a US study.
The researchers, based at Cornell University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, presented their findings at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in New Orleans this week and they say their results show that vitamin E could be used as part of a new preventive strategy for COPD in women.  
The oxidant/antioxidant balance in lung tissue is hypothesized to contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk, said the researchers, and they noted that observational studies consistently report high antioxidant status associated with lower risk of COPD and asthma.
As lung disease develops, damage occurs to sensitive tissues through several proposed processes, including inflammation and damage from free radicals.Vitamin E may protect the lung against such damage.
There are eight forms of vitamin E: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Alpha-tocopherol is the main source found in supplements and in the European diet, while gamma-tocopherol is the most common form in the American diet.
Other associated health benefits for the vitamin include improving the function of the liver thereby strengthening the body’s defence system, contributing to a healthy circulatory system and aiding in proper blood clotting and wound healing.
Some studies have shown that vitamin E decreases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and certain types of breast disease as well as helping to protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
 “Previous research found that higher intake of vitamin E was associated with a lower risk of COPD, but the studies were not designed to answer the question of whether increasing vitamin E intake would prevent COPD.
Using a large, randomized controlled trial to answer this question provided stronger evidence than previous studies,” said the researchers.
They said they reviewed data compiled by the Women’s Health Study, a multiyear research initiative that ended in 2004 and focused on the effects of aspirin (100mg every other day) and vitamin E (600 IU every other day) in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer in nearly 40,000 women aged 45 years and older for ten years.
 “Among 38,270 women without self reported history of CLD at randomization, there were 760 new reports of CLD diagnosis in the Vitamin E group and 846 in the placebo group during 373,710 person-years,” found the researchers.
An important finding was that the decreased risk of COPD in women who were given vitamin E was the same for smokers as for non-smokers.
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Source: Nutraingredients