Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the term used to refer to a group of chronic lung conditions which include refractory asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD find it very difficult to breathe, with symptoms ranging from wheezing and coughing to a feeling of tightness in the chest. As per the COPD Foundation, people with COPD may require as much as 430–720 more calories per day than other people because of the effort they need to put into breathing. As a matter of fact, 25 to 40% of people with COPD also deal with malnutrition, which can worsen the symptoms.
Even though there is no cure, there are several different supplements and remedies that people can help support their medical treatment and help themselves manage the condition.
Researchers have identified the following vitamins for the treatment and support of COPD.
Vitamin D has been shown to help the lungs function better. Studies have suggested that many COPD patients have low vitamin D, and taking vitamin D supplements helped the lungs function better. Vitamin D-3 supplements can also protect against moderate or severe flare-ups.
Research has been proven that low levels of vitamin C can increase levels of mucus, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Studies have suggested that people who experience an increase in lung issues tend to have lower vitamin E levels than people whose COPD is stable. Some studies have even suggested that long-term use of vitamin E supplements can help prevent COPD.
According to some studies, individuals who take the highest amount of vitamin A had a 52% lower chance of COPD.
Research has identified the following minerals for COPD support and treatment.
Magnesium is known to help lung function, but some medications might interfere with the body’s ability to absorb it. People must also exercise caution while taking magnesium supplements for COPD because it can interfere with certain drugs and cause side effects.
Calcium is another mineral that is known to help with lung function, but some medications may cause people to lose calcium. This makes it very important to consider incorporating more calcium into their diet. If a person is not able to meet their calcium needs through diet, it is advised to take calcium supplements.
Researchers have also identified additional supplements for treatment and support of COPD patients.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can reduce inflammation for people. Even though they occur naturally in nuts, fish and seeds, some people go the extra mile to take fish oil supplements and make sure that they get enough of it.
Eating more dietary fibre has been shown to reduce risks of COPD.