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The U.S. Surgeon General reported that cigarette smoking is the most significant risk factor for the development of cancer and heart disease. Likewise, cigarette smoking increases your risk of emphysema and chronic lung disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, macular degeneration, hypertension and other conditions as well. There is new data in recent years to indicate that even second hand smoke can have fatal consequences. In general, the average smoker usually dies about seven or eight years before a non-smoker.


Unfortunately, cigarette smoking is extremely addictive and, in many cases, is difficult to eliminate. Often many smokers can be in some level of denial and do not feel that their life will necessarily be shortened by this addiction. There are others that have made the comment that if they die prematurely, so be it. What they don't recognize is that if one develops a stroke or chronic lung disease, one may not die from this but be chronically disabled.


Proper diet and nutrition is extremely important for the chronic smoker. It has been well reported in the medical literature that many smokers have a relative deficiency of vitamin C and with supplementation ascorbic acid levels can be repleted. Antioxidants in general can be extremely beneficial in reducing the incidence of many of the diseases caused by cigarette smoking. In particular there have been studies cited in the literature describing benefits with grape seed extract and flavonoids from green tea.


In terms of smoking cessation, more specific measures, such as nicotine replacement (either gum or patch) can be effective. For other people acupuncture, hypnosis, visualization might have some benefit. Some physicians recommend the gradual reduction in cigarette smoking, especially if there is some enjoyment associated with it. Instead of automatically lighting up one cigarette after another, the smoker should instead choose certain times of the day when he or she would smoke one or two cigarettes (such as during their morning cup of coffee or at a lunch break). By following this routine, cigarette smoking may go from one or two packs/day to just a few cigarettes daily.


Nutrient Facts and Recommendations for diseases associated with smoking:

  • Antioxidants will help alleviate the oxidization of cells that lead to the incidence of many diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Each day you must provide your cells with the essential nutrients they need in order to function properly and to repair the damage caused by the daily onslaught of free radicals. The antioxidants found in the Synergy line of multi-vitamins will provide you with the free radical fighting elements you need for optimum general health.  Since oxidative damage of the eye can cause macular degeneration, taking antioxidants may lower the disease?s occurrence. People with high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium appear to have a 70% lower risk of developing macular degeneration.

  • Selenium deficiency increases the risk of cancer. However, this does not prove that taking selenium supplements will prevent cancer if you do not have a documented deficiency. However, a recent study did find that selenium supplements can dramatically reduce the incidence of cancer. The results were so impressive that the researchers discontinued the study ("broke the code") because they felt it was unethical to continue to give one group of patients the placebo. The study was designed to detect selenium's effects on skin cancer. Although no significant effect on skin cancer was found, the researchers found that people taking selenium had a 50% reduction in overall cancer deaths and significant decreases in cancer of the lung (40%), colon (50%), and prostate (66%).

  • Green tea?s active ingredient, polyphenols, may block the formation of nitrosamines and other cancer-causing compounds and may trap or detoxify carcinogens. Green tea may also exert an estrogen-blocking effect that is helpful in preventing breast and uterine cancer, and another study suggests that it might prevent the development of tumors by blocking the growth of new blood vessels. The optimum dosage of green tea is unknown. However, to reproduce the effects of the consumption in the observational studies, you need to drink 3 cups of green tea daily or take 100 to 150 mg 3 times daily of a green tea extract standardized for 80% total polyphenols and 55% epigallocatechin content. No significant side effects are associated with green tea, other than those due to its caffeine content (which is fairly low).

  • A rice bran derivative called MGN-3, or Arabinoxylane compound has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and stimulate the production of anti-tumor substances such as interferon in the body. Natural Killer cells (NK cells) are those white blood cells that seek and destroy mutated cells, thus trying to clean up the genetic damage caused by oxidation. It appears to assist the body in retarding the growth of cancer cells.

  • A deficiency of Coenzyme Q10 is often associated with hypertension. When a dose of 50 mg is taken twice daily, blood pressure drops noticeably.

  • The fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in Fish Oil, may lower blood pressure.

  • Magnesium appears to ease hypertension. A dose of up to 500 mg daily appears effective.

  • The amino acid Taurine has been shown to reduce blood pressure in both animals and humans.

  • Vitamin C has also been reported to lower blood pressure.

  • Garlic lowers blood pressure. It is generally not powerful enough, however, to be used as the sole treatment of hypertension.

  • Zinc is needed by the retina to create enzymes needed for vision. 80 mg of Zinc daily may decrease vision loss rate in patients with macular degeneration.

  • Ginkgo Biloba appears to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Gingko should not be used by patients who are taking anticoagulant medications.

  • Bilberry contains compounds which act as antioxidants in the retina, making it a possible preventive measure for macular degeneration. It also strengthens capillaries in the retina and reduces hemorrhaging.

                                                                                               (this article provided by VitaCost.com)

Wellness Plans for Respiratory Care

  • Regular exercise and weight control
  • Balanced diet emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables and lots of fluids
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking and air pollution

Recommended Supplements for Respiratory Care

(Essential in bold)

  Vitamins, Minerals and Trace Elements
  ? Vitamin A   ? Vitamin B6
  ? Vitamin B12   ? Vitamin C
  ? Ester-C Vitamin   ? Vitamin E
  ? Calcium   ? Coral Calcium
  ? Copper   ? Folic Acid
  ? Magnesium   ? Molybdenum
  ? Niacin   ? Iron
  ? Pantothenic Acid   ? Riboflavin
  ? Selenium   ? Zinc
  Nutritional Supplements
  ? CoEnzyme Q10   ? Lycopene
  Natural Food and Herbal Supplements
  ? Bilberry Extract   ? EPA Fish Oil
  ? Echinacea   ? Elderberry
  ? Garlic   ? Gingko Biloba
  ? Grape Seed Extract   ? Green Tea Extract
  ? Nettle   ? Pycnogenol
  ? Turmeric  


Read Related Links on Respiratory Care

  1. Respiratory Diseases (General) - a great resource links related to respiratory health provided by the National Library of Medicine

  2. Chest Pain, Acute: Self-Care Flowcharts - provided by the American Academy of Family Medicine

  3. Questions about Smoking, Tobacco, and Health - provided by the American Cancer Society

  4. Refresh Yourself! Stop Smoking- published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

  5. Facts about Lung Cancer - provided by the American Lung Association

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