How Vitamins Protect Against the Effects of Air Pollution
Air pollution—and its harmful health effects—are a growing cause for concern throughout the world. According to the World Health Organization, more than 90 percent of the global population lives in heavily polluted areas. A recent study shows that high doses of B vitamins may offset damage caused by exposure to air pollution.
Environmental factors like air pollution appear to alter immune system cells, affecting our ability to fight disease. In this new clinical trial, researchers tried to determine if this effect could be mitigated by a daily B vitamin supplement—2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6, and 1 mg of vitamin B12.
First, study participants were exposed to clean air and given a placebo to measure their basic responses. Then, they were exposed to heavily polluted air and given large doses of B vitamins. After four weeks, the vitamin B supplements reduced the effects of air pollution by 28 to 76 percent.
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