EntertainmentVitamins can help with the negative effects of atmospheric pollution

Vitamins can help with the negative effects of atmospheric pollution

The most important vitamins in winter
The most important vitamins in winter
Images source: © Getty Images
9:46 AM EST, February 21, 2024

Scientists emphasize the importance of certain vitamins like group B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. So, why should we include these vitamins in our diet, particularly during the heating season when smog becomes a more pronounced issue?

1. Group B vitamins

Group B vitamins are pivotal in the metabolic processes of cells and in the synthesis of erythrocytes, also known as red blood cells. They strengthen the human nervous system, maintain the health of the skin and mucous membranes, and are integral for mental wellness.

A study by the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in the USA revealed that supplementation with group B vitamins can help combat the harmful effects of air pollution. These vitamins can mitigate the adverse impacts of smog on DNA methylation.

DNA methylation refers to an enzymatic modification of deoxyribonucleic acids, occurring after DNA replication. It helps regulate gene expression and cell differentiation. Experts note that abnormalities in methylation processes may trigger numerous diseases and are seen in various types of cancers, such as colon, bladder, esophageal, and prostate cancer.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant necessary for the human body's proper functions. Antioxidants, often dubbed "anti-aging agents", neutralize free radicals, which can not only speed up aging but also contribute to oxidative stress, harming cells in the process.

Free radicals are also implicated in diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes, skin cancer, eczema, psoriasis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and stroke.

A research project at Imperial College London demonstrated that individuals with lower levels of vitamin C are more prone to experiencing breathing difficulties on days with high pollution levels.

An increase in solid particles by roughly 0.0004 grains/ft³ corresponded to a 35 percent rise in hospitalizations for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. For those with reduced levels of vitamin C this risk amplified by 1.2 times.

3. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another potent antioxidant, fat-soluble, that opposes damage from free radicals. It combats premature aging, triggers skin repair processes, and replenishes deficiencies in the skin's lipid layer.

The most important vitamins in winter
The most important vitamins in winter© Getty Images

A study by the University of Nottingham and King's College London found a significant correlation between the concentration of antioxidant vitamin E in blood vessels and exposure to small solid particles.

Individuals exposed to higher levels of atmospheric aerosols with a diameter not exceeding 0.000098 inches had a lower concentration of alpha-tocopherol, a crucial compound in vitamin E, in their bodies. Lower lung function was also observed in these individuals than those less exposed to this dust particle.

Researchers emphasize that vitamin E, as an antioxidant, mitigates the harmful effects of polluted air inhalation. Specifically, alpha-tocopherol may play an instrumental role in reducing oxidative damage.

4. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an antioxidant exhibiting anti-cancer properties. It protects the epithelium of the respiratory system from microorganisms, promotes wound healing, ensures healthy skin, reduces skin water loss, and counters the harmful effects of free radicals. The precursor to vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Specialists agree that beta-carotene is an antioxidant that effectively stimulates the immune response and enhances the body's ability to fight inflammation and infectious diseases. Beta-carotene helps regulate inflammatory conditions, which may arise due to exposure to polluted air.

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