Eating Fruits, Vegetables Lowers Risk of Smoking-Related Lung Disease
A new study revealed that former and current smokers who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetable every day were less likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than those who ate a lesser amount of fruits of vegetables.
The study, published in the journal Thorax, showed that the positive effects of consuming high amounts of fruits and vegetables can only be observed in former and current smokers but not in those who never smoked.
For the study, the researchers followed 44, 335 men with no history of COPD for over 13 years. The fruits and vegetable consumption of each participant was assessed using self-administered questionnaire.
Over the course of the study period, the researchers recorded 1,918 incidences of COPD. The researchers observed that former smokers who ate more than five serving of fruits and vegetables daily were 34 percent less likely to develop COPD, while current smokers who ate the same amount of fruits and vegetables were 40 percent less likely to develop COPD.
On the other hand, former and current smokers who ate less than two servings of fruits and vegetables each day were more likely to develop COPD, with the incidence rate of 506 per 100,000 for former smokers and 1,166 for current smokers.
The researchers found that each serving of fruits and vegetables per day could lessen the risk of COPD by 8 percent in current smokers and 4 percent in former smokers. Among the fruits and vegetables, peppers, pears, apple and green leafy vegetables have the strongest influence in reducing the risk of COPD. On the other hand, citrus fruits, berries, bananas, garlic, onions, green peas and root and cruciferous vegetables did not have a significant effect on the risk of COPD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider tobacco smoke as one of the key factors in the development and progression of COPD. These group of smoking-related diseases cause airway blockage and breathing-related problems, including chronic bronchitis emphysema and in some cases of asthma.