Nutrients Reduce COPD, Improve Respiratory Fitness
"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. It is characterized by airway obstruction due to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Chronic bronchitis is defined as the presence of a productive cough for at least 3 months of the year for more than 2 consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis may or may not be accompanied by airway obstruction . . . Emphysema is defined as the permanent abnormal enlargement of air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles, accompanied by destruction of alveolar walls.
"Symptoms of COPD may include shortness of breath, cough with sputum production, recurrent respiratory infections, wheezing, anorexia, and weight loss. The disease is frequently progressive, often culminating in death from respiratory failure, pulmonary infection, or heart failure . . ." (Gaby, Alan R., MD. Nutritional Medicine. Alan R. Gaby, M.D., 01/2011. VitalBook file.)
Certain nutritional supplements are known to be helpful to those with this condition, including N-acetylsysteine (NAC), Magnesium, Vitamin A and others.
Recent evidence has shown that Vitamin D and Spirulina may be beneficial as well.
Vitamin D for COPD. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is difficult to breathe fully, with symptoms at times becoming more acute, called exacerbations, which require medication. In this review of three vitamin D studies, covering 469 men and women, aged 40 to 86, with moderate to very severe COPD, doctors administered a placebo or doses of vitamin D from 36,000 IU to 100,000 IU per month.
The primary purpose of the studies was to measure the rate of COPD exacerbations that required treatment with corticosteroids, antibiotics, or both.
Overall, while there were no changes in those who began the study with vitamin D levels greater than 25 nanomole per liter of blood, or 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood, those who began the study with lower levels of vitamin D and who took vitamin D during the study saw rates of exacerbations requiring medication drop by 45 percent. (Reference: BMJ Journals-Thorax; 2018, 212092, Published Online)
Spirulina increased oxygen capacity. Spirulina contains over 50 vitamins and minerals including phytonutrients, carotenoids, chlorophyll, and protein. In this study, doctors divided 52 overweight or obese sedentary men into one of four groups: physical exercise only, exercise with spirulina, spirulina without exercise, and neither spirulina nor exercise.
Compared to the no exercise/no spirulina group, the three other groups lost more body fat and increased maximum oxygen capacity. Both spirulina groups lost weight, saw increased time to fatigue during exercise, and had a slower buildup of lactic acid-high levels of which can cause a sensation of muscle burning-indicating more efficient use of oxygen. (Reference: Marine Drugs; 2018, Vol. 16, No. 10, E364)
The dosage of Spirulina used in this study was 4.5 Grams per day. This can be achieved by taking 1 1/2 teaspoons of Spirulina Powder, available for a few suppliers.