What is the role of nutritional factors in the susceptibility to COPD

Nutrition may play a role in the development of COPD, especially where oxi-dants and antioxidants are involved. Protective dietary factors concerned include the antioxidant vitamins C and E, magnesium and fish oils. In addition to the endogenous enzymatic antioxidant systems, the antioxidant vitamins C and E may enhance host defences against the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke. Fish oil contains highly polyunsaturated w-3 fatty acids that act as competitive inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism. Fish oil may therefore down-regulate the inflammatory potency of lipid mediators such as LTB4 and provide protection against COPD [66,67].

It is possible that smokers who develop COPD have dietary deficiencies in the nutritional elements mentioned above. However, this hypothesis is not supported by longitudinal studies [68] and would not explain the whole problem, since there are so many confounding factors between diet and cigarette smoking (alcohol intake, etc.).

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