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Home Health Another reason to eat your broccoli! Scientists discover vitamin abundant in leafy green veg might keep your lungs healthy and ward off asthma

Another reason to eat your broccoli! Scientists discover vitamin abundant in leafy green veg might keep your lungs healthy and ward off asthma

by nytime
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Eating your leafy green vegetables will lead to healthy lungs and help ward off asthma, a study suggests.

People with low levels of vitamin K in their blood are more likely to have poor lung function and to say they suffer with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and wheezing, according to new research.

Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, vegetable oils and cereal grains.

It plays a role in blood clotting, and so helps the body to heal wounds, but researchers know very little about its role in lung health.

Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, vegetable oils and cereal grains and scientists say it has been linked to healthy lungs

Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, vegetable oils and cereal grains and scientists say it has been linked to healthy lungs

WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Asthma is a common but incurable condition which affects the small tubes inside the lungs.

It can cause them to become inflamed, or swollen, which restricts the airways and makes it harder to breathe.

The condition affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood. Symptoms may improve or even go away as children grow older, but can return in adulthood.

Symptoms include wheezing, breathlessness, a tight chest and coughing, and these may get worse during an asthma attack.

Treatment usually involves medication which is inhaled to calm down the lungs.

Triggers for the condition include allergies, dust, air pollution, exercise and infections such as cold or flu.

If you think you or your child has asthma you should visit a doctor, because it can develop into more serious complications like fatigue or lung infections.

Source: NHS  

A team from the University of Copenhagen analysed 4,000 people who took part in lung function testing, gave blood samples and answered questionnaires on their health and lifestyle.

They discovered people with low markers of vitamin K performed worse on the lung function tests and were twice as likely to say they had COPD, 44 per cent more likely to say they had asthma and 81 per cent more likely to report wheezing.

Dr Torkil Jespersen, one of the study’s authors, said: ‘We already know that vitamin K has an important role in the blood and research is beginning to show that it’s also important in heart and bone health, but there’s been very little research looking at vitamin K and the lungs.

‘To our knowledge, this is the first study on vitamin K and lung function in a large general population. 

‘Our results suggest that vitamin K could play a part in keeping our lungs healthy.’

The team said their new findings do not alter the current advice on vitamin K intake, but they do support further research to see if some people could benefit from taking vitamin K supplements.

The NHS website states that adults need approximately 1 microgram a day of vitamin K for each kilogram of their body weight.

For example, someone who weighs 65kg would need 65 micrograms a day of vitamin K. Experts say people should be able to get all the vitamin K they need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and innovation at Asthma and Lung UK, said: ‘This interesting research looks at the link between vitamin K and having a lung condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

‘We’d be interested to see further research in this area so we can better understand if levels of vitamin K are directly associated with lung function, which could help us better understand the impact of diet on people with lung conditions.

‘Research such as this is important, because lung conditions are the third biggest killer in the UK, but only 2 per cent of public funding is spent on research into lung conditions that would help diagnose, treat and manage them much more effectively.’

The findings were published in the journal ERJ Open Research.

WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide 

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