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Smoking Impacts Vitamin E's Effect on Pneumonia Risk: Study

by VR Sreeraman on February 19, 2011 at 7:22 PM
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 Smoking Impacts Vitamin E's Effect on Pneumonia Risk: Study

Vitamin E supplementation may decrease or increase, or may have no effect, on the risk of pneumonia depending on the level of smoking and leisure time exercise, according to a study.

In laboratory studies, vitamin E has influenced the immune system. In several animal studies vitamin E protected against viral and bacterial infections. However, the importance of vitamin E on human infections is not known.

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Dr. Harri Hemila and Professor Jaakko Kaprio, of the University of Helsinki, Finland, studied the effect of vitamin E on the risk of pneumonia in the large randomized trial (Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study), which was conducted in Finland between 1985-1993. There were 898 cases of pneumonia among 29,133 participants of the study.

Vitamin E had no overall effect on pneumonia risk. However, vitamin E decreased pneumonia risk by 69 percent among participants who had the least exposure to smoking and exercised during leisure time. In contrast, vitamin E increased pneumonia risk by 79 percent among those who had the highest exposure to smoking and did not exercise.
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Over half of the participants were outside of these two subgroups and vitamin E did not affect their risk of pneumonia. Thus, the beneficial and harmful effects of vitamin E are restricted to fairly small parts of the population.

The researchers concluded the role of vitamin E in susceptibility to pneumonia in physically active nonsmokers warrants further study.

The study has been published in Clinical Epidemiology.

Source: ANI
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