Vitamins C and E Protect Lungs from Ozone

Daily supplements of vitamins C and E help counteract the negative effects of ozone on lung function in athletes. Previous studies have found that even low levels of ozone, an air pollutant, can have significant effects on lung function, evident as little as one hour after exposure. These effects have previously been studied in athletes exercising indoors, under laboratory conditions. The Dutch research team speculate that antioxidants may protect the lungs against some of the effects of ozone by reducing the lung's inflammatory response to the air pollutant.

American Journal of Epidemiology 1999;149:306-314.

COMMENT: Obviously the best approach to pollution is avoidance. However, many of us do not have the opportunity to do so. Vitamin E at 400 units per day seems a reasonable precaution for most of us to use. Vitamin E also has anti-cancer and heart disease prevention benefits. My recommended brand is Unique. This is the company that the pioneer physicians in Canada doing the initial research with Vitamin E used nearly 50 years ago. This is the only supplement this company makes as it has the mixed tocopherols of the highest quality and it is not synthetic. I really don’t believe there is much benefit for most anyone with doses higher than 400 units per day.

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