Transcript: Treating COPD with Diet
120 COPD patients were randomized into two groups. Half were told to boost their fruit and vegetable consumption, and the other half stayed on their regular diet. The intervention group was told to eat at least one more serving a day of fruits or vegetables. And they did, and they did for three years. More fruit, and more vegetables, than control.
Here’s the control group. Slowly but surely, they got worse. That’s what happens in COPD (emphysema); you get worse, and worse, and then you die.
The group told to eat at least one more measly serving of fruits or vegetables every day started out the same, but didn’t get worse. One year, two years, three years. In fact, if anything, it looks like their lung function got a little better. That’s not supposed to happen; you’re supposed to get worse.
Could be the antioxidant effect of fruits and vegetables; could be the anti-inflammatory effect; or, frankly, it may not directly be the fruits and vegetables at all. When you eat more of one thing, you tend to eat less of another. For example, the addition of fruits and vegetables resulted in a decreased consumption of meat, which is known to be a pro-oxidant.
Either way, though, there is now hope. These findings suggest that a dietary shift to higher-antioxidant food intake may be associated with improvement in lung function. And, in this respect, dietary interventions might be considered in COPD management.
The tobacco industry viewed these landmark findings a little differently. Instead of adding fruits and vegetables to one’s diet to treat emphysema, wouldn’t it be simpler to just add them to the cigarettes? And voilà, the addition of açaí berries to cigarettes evidently had a protective effect against emphysema in smoking mice.
Next, they’re going to try to add berries to meat. I can always count on the journal Meat Science. Now, adding fruit extracts to burgers was not without its glitches, though. The blackberries literally dyed burger patties with a distinct purplish color—though infusing lamb carcasses with kiwifruit juice before rigor mortis sets in does evidently improve tenderness. And, it is possible to improve the nutritional profile of frankfurters with powdered grape seeds—though there were complaints that the grape seed particles were visible in the final product. And if there’s one thing we know about hot dog eaters, it’s that they’re picky about what goes in their food.
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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