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  • We take a look at five natural supplements for supporting the health of your lungs

We take a look at five natural supplements for supporting the health of your lungs

Breath of life

Our lungs fuel us with oxygen, the body’s life-sustaining gas. They breathe in air, then extract the oxygen and pass it into the bloodstream, where it is rushed off to the tissues and organs that require it in order to function.

The lungs are the only way through which the body can absorb oxygen and then deliver it to all the organs. However, environmental damage and certain infections can lead the lungs to become chronically unhealthy.Although it is desirable to maintain good lung health in the first instance, there are several supplements which can enable these vital organs to become healthy again if they become affected by disease.

Breath of life

SERRAPEPTASE

Serrapeptase is one of the world’s most exciting enzymes. Many studies have been carried out into its numerous health benefits and effectiveness in helping lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, bronchitis, fibrosis, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, chronic cough, bronchial asthma pneumoconiosis, asbestosis and dust allergies. One study from Japan found that Serrapeptase can have a ‘beneficial effect’ on clearing mucus in patients with chronic airway diseases.1 This means that anyone wanting to improve their lung health would benefit from taking this important enzyme.

Serrapeptase is showing promise as a great natural anti-inflammatory agent and herein lies the power behind its lung health benefits as it helps to clear out inflammation, mucus and dead/scar tissue. An Indian study looked at the role of proteolytic enzymes like Serrapeptase on test subjects and the results showed a significant reduction in inflammation when compared to the control group.2 As Serrapeptase clears away this problem tissue, the body’s healing system can then replace it with healthy tissue, bringing about better lung function as a result.

CURCUMIN

Research carried out by scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the University of California has indicated that existing drugs have proved to be ineffective in treating lung conditions.3

However, research has revealed that naturally occurring polyphenols in curcumin offer a safer, alternative treatment to traditionally used corticosteroids.4 Curcumin can directly scavenge free radicals, such as superoxide anion and nitric oxide, and modulate important signalling pathways. These polyphenols also down-regulate expression of pro-inflammatory mediators, and up-regulate desirable gene expression in the lungs. It was concluded that curcumin can act as a potential therapeutic agent against chronic lung diseases. Furthermore, curcumin has been shown to inhibit COPD-like airway inflammation and the progression of lung cancer within test subjects. 5

ECKLONIA CAVA EXTRACT

Derived from brown algae grown off the coast of Korea and Japan, Ecklonia Cava is a potent antioxidant which offers many health benefits. One particular study found it to be of benefit in ‘significant inhibition of all asthmatic reactions’ and concluded that Ecklonia Cava ‘extracts may prove useful as an adjunct therapy for allergic airway reactions’6. Eckol, which is isolated from Ecklonia Cava, has been found to attenuate oxidative stress-induced cell damage in lung fibroblast cells. It protects cells against oxidative damage by enhancing the cellular antioxidant activity and modulating the cellular signal pathway.7

VITAMIN D3

Vitamin D3 prevents inflammation by activating molecules which switch off inflammatory genes. A study published in a 2010 issue of The Journal of Immunology reported that vitamin D3 induces an inhibitor of pro-inflammatory transcription factor. This is good news for those suffering from smokers’ lung or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and chronic bronchitis – all of which have inflammation as underlying factors. Furthermore, according to research from Queen Mary University of London, vitamin D3 has been shown to reduce COPD and lung disease flare-ups by over 40 per cent in patients with a vitamin D deficiency. COPD includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, amongst others.8

SEAWEED ENZYME EXTRACT

This powerful enzyme, which is extracted from deep water seaweed, supports the respiratory system and improves the body’s ability to absorb more oxygen, particularly when taken in a liquid supplement form under the tongue. Several species of brown seaweeds were evaluated for their free radical- scavenging properties and results showed that the enzymatic extracts exhibited more prominent effects in hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity compared to commercial antioxidants.9 If you have been suffering from poor lung health then why not make your breathing – and life – easier with these supplements!

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Serranol

Unique combination of 80,000iu Serrapeptase plus Curcuminx4000, Ecklonia Cava Extract and vitamin D3. Nowhere else can you find all of these in one capsule!

Serranol

 
 
Powerful intra-oral liquid enzyme extracted from deep water seaweed, recommended for sport/fitness, when flying/ high altitude or during any heavy exertion.
 
Oxysorb

Sources
1. Nakamura, S., Hashimoto, Y., Mikami, M., Yamanaka, E., Soma, T., Hino, M., Azuma, A. and Kudoh, S. (2003), Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase in patients with chronic airway disease. Respirology, 8 (3) pp. 316–320.
2. Viswanatha Swamy, A. H. M. andPatil, P. A. (2008) Effect of some clinically used proteolytic enzymes on inflammation in rats. Indian J Pharm Sci. 70 (1) pp. 114–117.
3. Marwick, J. A., Dorward, D. A., Lucas, C. D., Jones, K. O., Sheldrake, T. A., Fox, S., Ward, C., Murray, J., Brittan, M., Hirani, N., Duffin, R., Dransfield, I., Haslett, C. and Rossi, A. G. (2013). Journal of Leukocyte Biology 94 (6) pp.1285-1292.
4. Biswas, S. and Rahman, I. (2008) Modulation of steroid activity in chronic inflammation: A novel anti- inflammatory role for curcumin. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 52 (9) pp. 987–994.
5. Moghaddam, S. J.,Barta, P.,Mirabolfathinejad, S. G.,Ammar-Aouchiche, Z.,Garza, N. T.,Vo, T. T.,Newman,
R. A.,Aggarwal, B. B.,Evans, C. M.,Tuvim, M. J.,Lotan, R. andDickey, B. F. (2009). Curcumin Inhibits COPD-like Airway Inflammation and Lung Cancer Progression in Mice. Carcinogenesis.30 (11) pp. 1949–56.
6. Kim, S-K., Lee, D-Y., Jung, W-K., Kim, J-H., Choi, I., Park, S-G., Seo, S-K., Lee, S-W., Lee, C. M. and Yea, S. S. (2008) Effects of Ecklonia cava ethanolic extracts on airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in a murine asthma model: Role of suppressor of cytokine signalling. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 62 (5) pp. 289–296.
7. Kang, K. A.,Lee, K. H.,Chae, S.,Zhang, R.,Jung, M. S.,Lee, Y.,Kim, S. Y.,Kim, H. S.,Joo, H. G.,Park, J. W.,Ham, Y. M.,Lee, N. H. andHyun, J. W. (2005) Eckol isolated from Ecklonia cava attenuates oxidative stress induced cell damage in lung fibroblast cells. FEBS Lett.579 (28) pp. 6295–304.
8. Martineau, A. R.,James, W. Y.,Hooper, R. L.,Barnes, N. C.,Jolliffe, D. A.,Greiller, C. L.,Islam, K.,McLaughlin, D.,Bhowmik, A.,Timms, P. M.,Rajakulasingam, R. K.,Rowe, M.,Venton. T. R.,Choudhury, A. B.,Simcock, D. E.,Wilks, M.,Degun, A.,Sadique, Z.,Monteiro, W. R.,Corrigan, C. J.,Hawrylowicz, C. M. andGriffiths, C. J.
(2015). Vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (ViDiCO): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Respir Med.3 (2) pp. 120–30.
9. Heo, S. J.,Park, E. J.,Lee, K. W. andJeon, Y. J. (2005). Antioxidant activities of enzymatic extracts from brown seaweeds. Bioresour Technol.96 (14) pp. 1613–23.