Wild fires on the west coast are causing concern in air quality and lung health but the reality is we should be concerned with air quality every day living in a major metropolitan cities. Our lungs and our skin are affected by the pollutants in the air. The World Health Organization has placed air pollution as the world’s largest environmental health risk factor. With COVID-19 as a threat to our respiratory system and quality of air extremely poor from these fires I wanted to provide you with a list of nutrients and antioxidants which are proven to help protect your lungs and skin from air pollution.
Evidence based supplements to help protect against pollution damage:
Vitamin A & Carotenoids
Choline Omega 3 fatty acids
Wildfires release large amounts of carbon dioxide, black carbon, brown carbon, and ozone precursors into the atmosphere.
Oxidative stress from these chemicals can lead to tissue damage, airway inflammation with increased asthma severity and abnormal immune responses. We can protect ourselves from them by taking antioxidants.
Vitamin A & carotenoids.
Animal sources whole milk, liver, and eggs) and fortified foods.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables (eg, carrots, sweet potatoes)
Protects against oxidative damage from chemicals and ozone.
Vitamin C and E
Vitamin C- Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, and potatoes peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloup)
Vitamin E- plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables
Exposure to O3 results in depletion of antioxidants vitamin C and E in the skin
In studies on people who have exercise induced asthma, vitamin C and Vitamin E supplement aided recovery.
Use Vitamin C & E on your skin, specifically your face daily to prevent oxidative damage to your skin
Salmon and foods enriched or fortified with D such as orange juice, dairy products and cereals. Sunlight converts to vitamin D in your body
People with lower vitamin D are higher risk for asthma and decreased lung function
People who take vitamin D have lower lung cancer risk and reduced risk of severe asthma.
This is one of my favorite supplements to take. It is anti-inflammatory , anti-tumour, antifungal and an antioxidant.
Studies show it could potentially be used to prevent airway inflammation due to cadmium inhalation.
People who ingested curcumin through eating curry had better pulmonary function and lower cholesterol.
Cysteine is found in most high-protein foods, such as chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds and legumes.
NAC is the supplement form of cystine. it helps create glutathione in your lungs and reduces inflammation in your bronchial tubes and lung tissue. Glutathione is is one of the body’s most important antioxidants, which helps neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in your body.
It helps with detox of metals (mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic).
Studies show it lowers airway responsiveness by 42% in individuals with airway hyper-responsiveness following inhalation of diesel exhaust compared with filtered air.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Fatty fishes- tuna, salmon, mackerel, and fish oil supplementation
Shown to reduce inflammation on airways caused by fine particles in the air
Protects against ozone vascular damage
Found in egg yolks meat, liver, poultry, fish and shellfish, peanuts, and cauliflower.
Choline can help with neurological function cardiovascular diseases, and prevent inflammation.
Types of pollutants
Phthalates- plastic wrapping of foods and bottles also IV bags. These toxicants can be delivered into the body via inhalation, dietary intake, and skin absorption inducing an inflammatory response.
Particulate matter- mixture of particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets particles suspended in air and are produced by a variety of natural and anthropogenic activities. It can penetrate the alveolar regions of the lung, pass through the cell membrane, reach the blood and can accumulate in other human organs . Metabolic effects of PM cause increases in carcinoembryonic antigen and fasting blood glucose, and significant decreases in HDL cholesterol as well as atopic dermatitis , acne and psoriasis. PM can induce oxidative stress and inflammation on lungs exacerbating asthma and COPD.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons- derived from coal tar, diesel exhausts and cigarette smoke. These are linked to bronchitis.
Ozone -when used as an IV it can help treat a lot of diseases and inflammation but as a direct gas ozone is extremely harmful. It can cause breathing problems, trigger asthma, reduce lung function and cause lung diseases such as COPD.
Nitrogen dioxide-strong marker for air pollution primarily from combustion including motor vehicles, biomass burning, airports and industry.
Persistent organic pollutants- added to household sealants, paint plasticizers, wood finishes, flame retardants, light ballasts, and electrical capacitors in appliances. Related to cancers, lung cancer and liver disease (men) and liver cancer (women).
Mixed pollutants- PM10, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxides, and Ozone have been linked to increased blood pressure, and obesity. Environmental tobacco smoke and chemical emissions from new furniture are risk factors for asthma as well as lower testosterone, higher estrogen levels and infertility.
If you have been following. my posts you will notice that many of these air pollutants are related to lower testosterone, increase estrogen and increase infertility as well.
You can find more on that topic at this blog post .
Or you can join my mailing list to get info on male and female fertility tips!
For a details on these suggested supplements including dosages click here .