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Preventing COPD With Diet

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is now the third leading cause of death. The good news is that in addition to smoking cessation there are dietary interventions that can help prevent COPD.

April 27, 2012 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited

Keranis E, Makris D, Rodopoulou P, Martinou H, Papamakarios G, Daniil Z, Zintzaras E, Gourgoulianis KI. Impact of dietary shift to higher-antioxidant foods in COPD: a randomised trial. Eur Respir J. 2010 Oct;36(4):774-80.

CDC. Deaths: Preliminary Data 2010. 2012.

Varraso R, Willett WC, Camargo CA Jr. Prospective study of dietary fiber and risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among US women and men. Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Apr 1;171(7):776-84.

Hirayama F, Lee AH, Binns CW, Zhao Y, Hiramatsu T, Tanikawa Y, Nishimura K, Taniguchi H. Do vegetables and fruits reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? A case-control study in Japan. Prev Med. 2009 Aug-Sep;49(2-3):184-9.

Hirayama F, Lee AH, Binns CW, Zhao Y, Hiramatsu T, Tanikawa Y, Nishimura K, Taniguchi H. Soy consumption and risk of COPD and respiratory symptoms: a case-control study in Japan. Respir Res. 2009 Jun 26;10:56.

Jiang R, Camargo CA Jr, Varraso R, Paik DC, Willett WC, Barr RG. Consumption of cured meats and prospective risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):1002-8.

Tabak C, Smit HA, Räsänen L, Fidanza F, Menotti A, Nissinen A, Feskens EJ, Heederik D, Kromhout D. Dietary factors and pulmonary function: a cross sectional study in middle aged men from three European countries. Thorax. 1999 Nov;54(11):1021-6.

Walda IC, Tabak C, Smit HA, Räsänen L, Fidanza F, Menotti A, Nissinen A, Feskens EJ, Kromhout D. Diet and 20-year chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality in middle-aged men from three European countries. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;56(7):638-43.

Celik F, Topcu F. Nutritional risk factors for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in male smokers. Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec;25(6):955-61.

Varraso R, Jiang R, Barr RG, Willett WC, Camargo CA Jr. Prospective study of cured meats consumption and risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in men. Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Dec 15;166(12):1438-45.

Jiang R, Paik DC, Hankinson JL, Barr RG. Cured meat consumption, lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among United States adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Apr 15;175(8):798-804.

Acknowledgements

Image thanks to LeRoy Woodson via Wikimedia Commons.

Transcript

The three top killers are no longer heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Stroke moved down to #4. Number 3 is now COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory disease like emphysema. We know we can prevent and even help treat the other top killers with diet, what about COPD? There’s still some coal mining going on but 80-90% is from smoking. So what does diet have to do with it?
Well, data dating back 50 years found that high intake of fruits and vegetables intake was positively associated with pulmonary function, lung function in general, but does that mean it could prevent COPD? There’s been a burst of new research over the last ten years to answer just that question.
In 2002 we learned that every extra serving of fruit we add to our daily diet may reduce our risk of getting and then eventually dying from COPD. In 2006 we could add tea drinking to fruits and vegetables for COPD prevention.
In 2007 a twin pair of studies emerged, one from Columbia, one from Harvard implicating cured meat—bacon, balogna, ham, hot dogs, sausage, salami—as a risk factor for developing COPD. They thought the nitrite preservatives in the meat may be mimicking the damage done by the nitrites from cigarette smoke. In 2008 Harvard decided to study women as well, and found the same thing.
So now we know what to eat, what to stay away from. In 2009 soy was added to the good list, both tofu and soymilk found protective against COPD, protective against breathlessness. 2009 more evidence for the benefits of vegetables, and 2010, the benefits of fiber, especially from whole grains, but this is the study we’ve all been waiting for. Sure the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects of plant foods can help prevent COPD, but what if you already have it?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's video.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

For killers one and two see my 79 videos on heart disease and my 95videos on cancer. I also have a few other videos on lung health including Deep Frying Toxins and Is Artificial Butter Flavor Harmful?. For more on the dangers of processed meat, see Bacon and Botulism. There are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects. Finally, please note that most of the sources for this video are open access, so you can download them by clicking on the links above in the Sources Cited section.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Treating COPD with Diet,Adding FDA-Approved Viruses to MeatEating To Extend Our Lifespan, Preventing and Treating Kidney Failure With Diet, and Heading Shrinking from Grilling Meat

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For killers one and two see my 79 videos on heart disease and my 95 videos on cancer. I also have a few other videos on lung health including Deep Frying Toxins and Is Artificial Butter Flavor Harmful?. For more on the dangers of processed meat, see Bacon and Botulism. There are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects. Finally, please note that most of the sources for this video are open access, so you can download them by clicking on the links above in the Sources Cited section.

  • HemoDynamic

    Just one more fact in plant based prevention to add to my arsenal!  Fantastic! Thanks as always!

  • HemoDynamic

    BTW whats up with the new posting requiring I add my name and email address to each post when I am already logged in?

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Sorry about the confusion! We upgraded the site on Wednesday night. Instead of signing in as a guest, if you click on the Disqus button or “Login” at the top of the comments section above, you’ll see you can log in through facebook or twitter create a new Disqus account that should remember you.  It will also allow you to claim any past comments you have made using that same e-mail address. So there are essentially two logins, a login for NutritionFacts.org and a login for the commenting, but once they’re both set up you shouldn’t have any problem (I hope!). Please let me know if you have any other questions with the new system.

      • HemoDynamic

        Got it, Thanks!  Keep up the great work!

  • Daniel_Manahan

    is there a part two?

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please check out my blog post Treating COPD with Diet!

  • http://twitter.com/BrtheBtr2LivBtr BobbyG Griffiths

    My new favorite saying is “PreHab’s the best Rehab” and clearly, a healthy diet will steer us all in the direction we need to be going if we truly want to reduce the “burden of health care” in this country.

    I’m glad to have found these two videos on diet and COPD. I look forward to learning more as I review your other videos on lung function.

    Thanks again :)

  • eleanork

    I am unable to hear any audio on these videos. I used to hear the audio, but something changed several weeks ago and the video is mute.