Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive form of lung disease ranging from mild to severe.
As more people suffer from chronic lung disease and more studies are conducted to find ways to improve the quality of patients’ lives, simple truths are uncovered. One such is the discovery of a correlation between nutrition and the severity of COPD.
A healthy diet full of necessary vitamins and minerals is essential for every person’s good health. For people suffering from COPD, maintaining proper vitamin levels in the body is essential.
A study published by Science Daily, found that Vitamin D reduces lung disease flare-ups by over 40 percent. Researchers from the University of London tracked 240 patients for several months and measured the impact of vitamin D supplements on lung disease flare-ups.
Patients with lung diseases, such as COPD, saw severity and duration of flare-up symptoms reduced from continued use of the vitamin D tablets.
Vitamin D and Calcium
According to a recent study published in the UK-based journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, vitamin D supplements can protect against COPD flare-ups–referred to in British publications as “exacerbations.”
Those with COPD have an increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis by facilitating the body’s absorption of calcium. People with COPD should supplement with vitamin D and calcium together.
Doses of 800 international units (IU) (20 mcg)/day of vitamin D, plus calcium, have been shown to provide some protection against osteoporosis by reducing the risk for falling and osteoporotic fractures.
The authors of a 2011 study published by the National Institutes of Health raise the question of whether preventing vitamin D deficiency by taking vitamin supplements may actually “reverse the natural course of the disease.”
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.