Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Beta-Carotene Protects the Lung Against Acute Respiratory Infections

By Kyle J. Norton

The lungs are a pair of organs located on either side of the chest (thorax) with a function to bring fresh oxygen into the body and remove the carbon dioxide and other waste gases from the body.

Lung protection is an action in which substances, including herbal remedies, are used to protect the lung against injury or damage.

Lung infection that affects your lungs can cause bronchitis if the large airway is infection or pneumonia if the smaller air sacs in the lung are infected.

Acute respiratory infections are an infection caused by viral such as cold may interfere with normal breathing and airways swollen associated with the mucous building up in the nose, windpipe, or lungs.
Most cases of acute respiratory infection in a healthy individual are healed within 1-2 weeks with or without the use of medication

According to the statistics provided by the Lung Association over 3 million Canadians are affected by one of five serious respiratory diseases – asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, tuberculosis (TB), and cystic fibrosis.

In 2017, 28,600 Canadians were diagnosed with lung cancer, represented 14% of all new cancer cases. Lung cancer caused the death of 21,100 Canadians in the same year.

Comapred to acute lung infection, the exact causes of chronic lung disease are not identified. However, epidemiological studies suggested being overweight, smoking, family history, smoking are some of the most prevalent factors associated with the onset of the disease.

Most common lung diseases in North America including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and cystic fibrosis.

Out of many risk factors, occupational lung diseases are one of the most challenging in the modern world.

Dr. Sara De Matteis, the lead scientist wrote, "New occupational agents with unknown respiratory health effects are constantly introduced to the market and require periodic health surveillance among exposed workers to detect early signs of adverse respiratory effects".

And, "In addition, the aging workforce, many of whom have pre-existing respiratory conditions, poses new challenges in terms of the diagnosis and management of occupational lung diseases".

β-Carotene is a phytochemical in the class of Carotenes, belonging to the group of Carotenoids (tetraterpenoids), found abundantly in dark, leafy greens and red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetable
On finding a potential compound for the treatment of respiratory infections, researchers examined the relationship of plasma concentrations of six major carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) in the severity of acute respiratory infections.

The study included 652 non-institutionalized elderly people (> or =60 years old) enrolled via two community-based sampling strategies in the Wageningen area of The Netherlands in 1998-99.

According to the results by analyzing the frequency and severity of episodes during the previous 1 year, i.e. staying in bed, a medical consultation and episode-related medication in a self-reported by means of a questionnaire, the incidence rate ratio of acute respiratory infections at high beta-carotene status was 0.71 (95 % CI 0.54-0.92) compared to low beta-carotene, concentration group.

In other words, a higher amount of dietary beta-carotene intake was inversely associated with the risk of acute respiratory infections.

Interestingly, levels of alpha-Carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin were not related to the incidence or severity of the infections, comapred to beta-carotene.

Based on the findings, researchers said, "elderly people with a high plasma beta-carotene concentration may have a lower occurrence of acute respiratory infections".

Taken altogether, beta-carotene found in tomato may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory infections, pending on the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of beta-carotene in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Plasma carotenoid concentrations in relation to acute respiratory infections in elderly people by van der Horst-Graat JM1, Kok FJ, Schouten EG. (PubMed)
(2) Current and new challenges in occupational lung diseases by De Matteis S1, Heederik D2, Burdorf A3, Colosio C4, Cullinan P5, Henneberger PK6, Olsson A7, Raynal A8, Rooijackers J9, Santonen T10, Sastre J11, Schlünssen V12,13, van Tongeren M14, Sigsgaard T12; European Respiratory Society Environment and Health Committee. (PubMed)

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