Transcript: Preventing COPD with Diet
The top three killers in the United States are no longer heart disease, cancer, and stroke. That was so 2010. Stroke moved down to number 4. Number 3 is now COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; respiratory diseases 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 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 pair of studies emerged; one from Columbia, one from Harvard, implicating cured meat—bacon, bologna, 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, and what to stay away from. In 2009, soy was added to the good list. Both tofu and soy milk found protective against COPD, protective against breathlessness. In 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 the next video, Treating COPD With Diet.
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.
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