It is well-known that the food we eat affects our health, but did you know that it can also affect the way we fight diseases? Lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often are treated with medications, inhalers, and supplemented oxygen, but diet has recently come to the forefront as a factor in the way the body deals with the symptoms of COPD.
In new research published in Annals of American Thoracic Society, study researchers found that “people who ate the most fiber fared better in lung capacity tests.” They were able to determine this using data from 1,921 adults, ages 40 to 79, who participated in a large national database compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By pulling their diet and nurtrition information, researchers were able to determine that “68.3 percent of the fiber eaters had normal lung function compared to 50.1 percent of those who did not eat a lot of fiber. In addition, just 14.8 percent of those with fiber-rich diets had airway restriction, compared to 29.8 percent of those who did not follow such diets.”
It was also noted that those participants with the “highest fiber intake also had greater lung capacity and could exhale more air in one second, which are also important indicators of lung health,” but the way diet affects lung health doesn’t stop at fiber.
Another study was also recently conducted that illustrated the impact that omega-3 fatty acids have on the symptoms of COPD. A compound derived from fatty acids, like fish oil, “showed promise for preventing a bacterial respiratory infection that is a common cause of disease exacerbation.” This means that future treatments may be able to be derived from these compounds in order to prevent bacterial infection and symptom exacerbation in those patients dealing with COPD.