Lutein and Vitamins C and E give relief

Dr Paul Clayton 2002

Chronic breathing difficulties make life hard for many, unbearable for those who are severely affected, and culminate in increasing disability and death. In fact decreased lung function predicts the risk of death; and here again, as in all the other degenerative diseases, drugs have little to offer. But supplements do …

The lungs and airways are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage due to the oxygen in the air we breath; but to that we have increasingly to add the free radical damage caused by exposure to cigarettes and other smokes, exhaust fumes and other inhaled pollutants. Anti-oxidant supplements should, therefore, help to protect against lung damage, and a number of studies have already shown that an increased intake of Vitamins E, C and beta carotene is indeed protective.

Now there is new evidence that other anti-oxidant micro-nutrients are also involved in the maintenance of healthy lung tissue. In a large population study, scientists found that subjects with high intakes of Vitamins C and E, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, had significantly better lung function. In fact an increase of merely 2.2mg lutein and zeaxanthin, 75mg Vitamin C and 7mg of Vitamin E was enough to slow the ageing process by up to two years.

It seems likely that higher doses would slow the ageing process more dramatically, perhaps to the point where normal healing processes could predominate and the lungs could effectively be rejuvenated.

VERDICT: Another important study, which shows that the loss of lung function which occurs with age, and which can dominate and drive the ageing process, can be slowed or perhaps, with optimal nutritional support, even stopped.