Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

What is COPD?

The lungs contain air tubes that branch into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes that end in bunches of tiny round air sacs. Small blood vessels run through the walls of the air sacs, transferring oxygen from the lungs to the blood, and exchanging carbon dioxide for the lungs to exhale. In COPD, the air tubes and sacs lose elasticity, become damaged, inflamed or destroyed and vulnerable to upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.

Echinacea plus micronutrients

In this study, 108 men and women with COPD and URTI, average age 66, took the antibiotic ciprofloxacin for seven days and then added a daily dose of echinacea, zinc, selenium, and ascorbic acid; or a placebo. After 14 days, compared to placebo, those who took echinacea plus micronutrients had far less severe and much shorter COPD flare-ups. Some participants reported sleep disturbances, which doctors said may be due to COPD.

Vitamin D improves lungs

Doctors said that people with COPD typically are deficient in vitamin D because they don’t get outdoors much and exercise little, and that there is a link between low vitamin D and weak muscles. In this lung rehabilitation study, 50 people, average age 67, with a history of COPD flare-ups took 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month, or a placebo. After three months, while the placebo group did not change, the vitamin D group saw levels of vitamin D increase from 22 to 53 ng/mL. The vitamin D group utilized more oxygen while the placebo group utilized less, and walking distance increased 118 feet in six minutes for vitamin D compared to increasing 36 feet for placebo.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics; 2011, Vol. 36, No. 5, 568-76

From the December 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 12 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins
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