News / 

Vitamin A reduces emphysema in smokers

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

MANHATTAN, Kan., Jul 26, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Kansas State University researcher says he has accidentally discovered a link between vitamin A and emphysema in smokers.

University researcher Richard Baybutt's previous studies found that rats fed a vitamin A-deficient diet developed emphysema, a lung disease found primarily in smokers.

He than exposed rats to cigarette smoke and found the rats became vitamin A deficient. He subsequently determined benzopyrene, a common carcinogen found in cigarettes, is the link to the deficiency.

"When the lung content of vitamin A was low, the score of emphysema was high," he said. "So, the hypothesis is that smokers develop emphysema because of a vitamin A deficiency."

Baybutt then began feeding the rats exposed to cigarette smoke a diet with higher levels of vitamin A and the incidents of emphysema were effectively reduced.

"There are a lot of people who live to be 90 years old and are smokers," he said. "Why? Probably because of their diet."

The findings appear in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast