Vitamin B an unlikely weapon in the war against pollution, new study suggests

Posted at 7:09 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 19:09:05-04

Air pollutants can be very bad for our health and a new study focused on a pollutant called PM2.5.  

PM stands for Particle Matter and 2.5 means the diameter is smaller than 2.5 micrometers. These particles are about 30 times smaller than a human hair. The team of international researchers had 10 volunteers take 4 weeks of B vitamin supplements daily. 

They were exposed to heavily polluted air in a busy city where roughly 1,000 cars passed every hour. Researchers found the vitamin reduced the PM2.5 air pollution effects by 28-76%.

Since these particles are so tiny, they get inhaled and can end up deep in our lungs. They can aggravate people with heart disease by causing chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. Particles can also aggravate those with lung diseases like asthma and bronchitis. They may not be able to breathe normally.  Even if you’re healthy, particle pollution can cause coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing or shortness of breath.

Yes, but more studies are needed to validate these findings since the study was so small. If you’re concerned about pollution, here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX:
1. Eat healthy foods that naturally contain B6 and B12 vitamins. Chicken and nuts have B6 and fish, meat, eggs, and milk have B12.
2. Lower your particle risk by planning your outdoor activities when levels are low.
3. Conserve electricity by setting your thermostat a little lower in the winter and a bit higher in the summer.
4. Reduce the number of trips you make in your car – instead, try to walk or bike when you can.  It’s so much healthier!

Air pollution levels often vary throughout the day. Today. we’re at 51 which is moderate. In 2015, we had 195 moderate days. For most people the air quality is fine, but those who are sensitive may have issues, like the young or old and those with lung cancer.