Smokers may have their risk of lung function impairment and decline reduced by increasing their vitamin D intake, according to a new study.
Researchers found that those smokers with vitamin D deficiency experienced worse lung function and more rapid deterioration than those with healthy vitamin D levels.
The findings suggest the vitamin could have a protective effect against the effects of smoking.
Dr Nancy E Lange, lead author of the study, explained that the discovery was made when researchers analysed the relationship between vitamin D, smoking, lung function and decline over a 20 year period in 626 adult white males.
Vitamin D levels were assessed at three different points in time between 1984 and 2003.
"Our results suggest that vitamin D might modify the damaging effects of smoking on lung function," said Dr Lange. "These effects might be due to vitamin D's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties."
The study follows a previous investigation which suggested that vitamin C can protect against the effects of smoking in unborn babies.
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