Vitamin E is a potential natural remedy for pneumonia prevention

Harold Mandel's picture
Lungs

According to new research administration of 50 mg per day of vitamin E lowered the risk of pneumonia in elderly male smokers by 72 percent after they stopped smoking.

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Pneumonia is a serious infectious illness which can hit the elderly particularly hard. Vitamin E has surfaced as a possible effective natural remedy for the prevention of pneumonia in older people.

Pneumonia in older men who do not smoke may be prevented with vitamin E

The University of Helsinki reports that pneumonia in older men who do not smoke may be prevented with vitamin E. According to the researchers administration of 50 mg per day of vitamin E lowered the risk of getting pneumonia in older male smokers by 72 percent after they stopped smoking.

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There was a 72 percent lower incidence of pneumonia in participants who were given vitamin E and who stopped smoking

Dr. Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki, Finland, investigated whether or not vitamin E supplementation might have an influence on the risk of community-acquired pneumonia. Dr. Hemilia analyzed the data collected from the randomized trial, Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention [ATBC] Study, which was done in Finland between 1985-1993 and included male smokers between the ages of 50 to 69 years old. It was observed that there was a 72 percent lower incidence of pneumonia in participants who were given vitamin E and who stopped smoking. There was also a benefit derived from vitamin E in those participants who smoked heavily or did not get any exercise.

This study has been published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging. It has been shown that administration of vitamin E may lower the incidence of pneumonia in elderly men. This is significant since the elderly can be hit particularly hard by pneumonia.

The immune system appears to be influenced by vitamin E

In laboratory studies it has been shown the immune system is influenced by vitamin E. In many animal experiments it has been observed that vitamin E offers protection against infections which are caused by viruses and bacteria. Previous studies found there was significant heterogeneity in the effect which vitamin E supplementation has on pneumonia in people. The goal of this study was to investigate the dependence on age of the effect of vitamin E on pneumonia risk. Although it appears vitamin E supplementation can lower the risk of pneumonia in nonsmoking elderly men more research is needed to clarify this association.

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