COPD patients 'would benefit from healthy diet'
Article date: 2 June 2014
Individuals who struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been advised to adopt healthier eating habits, as doing so could lead to improved lung function.
Research carried out by scientists in the US and Europe has highlighted a direct link between consuming fruit, fish and dairy products and a patients' ability to breathe more comfortably.
Presented at the ATS 2014 International Conference yesterday (May 21st), the findings examined lung function in COPD patients within 24 hours of eating items such as bananas, cheese and grapefruit.
As part of the programme, scientists used existing data from the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints Study (Eclipse). With limited diet records available for 2,167 participants, researchers examined information at eight time points over a three-year period.
They also looked at specific standard lung function measurements for the same group of individuals, which included a six-minute walking test, inflammatory biomarkers and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire scores.
It was revealed that those participants who had reported recently eating fish, bananas, grapefruit or cheese had experienced an improvement in lung function, along with improved six-minute walk scores, less emphysema and decrease in certain inflammatory markers.
Study author Corinne Hanson said: "Diet is a potentially modifiable risk factor in the development and progression of many diseases, and there is evidence that diet plays a role in both the development and clinical features of COPD.
"This study demonstrates the nearly immediate effects a healthy diet can have on lung function in a large and well-characterised population of COPD patients," Hanson said. "It also demonstrates the potential need for dietary and nutritional counseling in patients who have COPD."
According to official figures, COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK, which usually affects individuals over the age of 35. Around three million people are thought to have the illness, however, only around 900,000 have been diagnosed.