Have scientists found a cure for Emphysema? Emphysema occurs when air sacs in the lungs, which deliver oxygen into the blood stream, are damaged or destroyed. Is it possible to reverse the effects of the fatal disease? In a study being conducted at UCLA scientists are experimenting with Vitamin Therapy. A derivative of Vitamin A, all-trans retinoic acid, has shown promise in animal research.
Emphysema can be caused by a deficiency of Vitamin A in the body, pollution or exposure to benzopyrene. Benzopyrene is a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke that depletes the lungs of Vitamin A. Researchers have discovered that when content of Vitamin A was low, the incidence of Emphysema was greatly increased.
Vitamin A plays a vital role in various body functions and development. It is also important for proper functioning of the immune system. Retinoic acids are compounds of Vitamin A and are important for proper lung growth and maturation. Main nutritional sources of Vitamin A are liver, fish liver oils, egg yolks, and some milk products.
The research shows that when Vitamin A was used therapeutically in mice, lung function was restored to normal. The research is exciting although, the differences between animal studies and human studies may be drastically different. There are also side effects associated with large doses of Vitamin A. The Vitamin Therapy should be conducted and supervised by a health professional. Nevertheless, Vitamin A may well be the answer patients suffering from Emphysema have been waiting for.