According to a new Cornell University study, older women may be able to significantly decrease their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by regularly taking vitamin E supplements.
For the study, researchers analyzed the medical data of more than 40,000 women over the age of 45 who were randomly assigned to take either 600 mg of vitamin E or a placebo every other day for several years.
At the conclusion of the research, the investigators found that participants who regularly took nutritional supplements had an approximately 10 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with COPD compared to those in the control group. However, vitamin E had no statistically significant effect on preventing the development of asthma.
"If results of this study are borne out by further research, clinicians may recommend that women take vitamin E supplements to prevent COPD," said lead author Anne Hermetet Agler.
She also noted that the benefits of vitamin E supplementation were apparent in smokers and non-smokers alike.
The findings will be presented at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans later this week.