Use Your Diet to Combat Air Pollution
Pollution is the “largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today,” according to research published in The Lancet recently.
The study revealed that 9-M premature deaths were caused by pollution in Y 2015, which is 16% of deaths worldwide. What’s more, among the pollution-related deaths, the majority, or 6.5-M were caused by airborne contaminants.
Fine particulate matter can enter your system and cause chronic inflammation, which in turn increases your risk of a number of health problems, from cancer to heart and lung disease.
In the case of heart disease, fine particulate air pollution may increase your risk by inducing atherosclerosis, increasing oxidative stress and increasing insulin resistance, the researchers noted, adding: “The strongest causal associations are seen between PM 2.5 pollution and cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. Specific causal associations have been established between PM 2.5 pollution and myocardial infarction, hypertension, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias and cardiovascular mortality.
Causal associations have also been established between PM 2.5 pollution and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has reported that airborne particulate matter and ambient air pollution are proven group 1 human carcinogens.”
Because we cannot always control our exposure to air pollution, especially that outdoors, 1 of the best options is to fortify our diet with nutrients that may have a protective effect against pollutants.
These include the following:
•Omega-3 fats — They are anti-inflammatory, and in a study of 29 middle-aged people, taking an animal-based omega-3 fat supplement reduced some of the adverse effects to heart health and lipid levels, including triglycerides, that occurred with exposure to air pollution.
•Broccoli sprouts — Broccoli-sprout extract was shown to prevent the allergic nasal response that occurs upon exposure to particles in diesel exhaust, such that the researchers suggested broccoli or broccoli sprouts could have a protective effect on air pollution’s role in allergic disease and asthma.
A broccoli-sprout beverage even enhanced the detoxification of some airborne pollutants among residents of a highly polluted region of China.
•Vitamins C and E — Among children with asthma, antioxidant supplementation including vitamins C and E helped to buffer the impact of ozone exposure on their small airways.
•B vitamins — A small-scale human trial found high doses of vitamins B6, B9 and B12 in combination completely offset damage caused by very fine particulate matter in air pollution.
Notably, 4 weeks of high-dose supplementation reduced genetic damage in 10 gene locations by 28 to 76%, protected mitochondrial DNA from the harmful effects of pollution, and even helped repair some of the genetic damage.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively