Healthy Eating, Healthier Lungs

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Story Updated: May 23, 2014

Consuming healthier foods such as fish, fruit, and certain dairy products appears to boost lung function among patients struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease the third leading cause of death in America. The finding is based on a nutritional analysis involving nearly 2,200 COPD patients.

8 times over a 3-year period each patient provided a 24-hour dietary report concerning specific foods including grapefruit, fish, bananas, and cheese. Nutritional information was then stacked up against the results of a series of lung performance tests.

In the end, the study authors determined that those who had recently consumed foods associated with a healthy diet, including fish, fruit and certain dairy products, demonstrated better respiratory capacity. The same foods were also linked to a drop in key markers of inflammation even after accounting for gender, age, smoking history or overweight status.

And though the finding needs follow-up the researchers say it suggests that simple dietary changes may go a long way towards improving quality of life among COPD patients.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

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