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CHEST: Nutrition, Fitness Can Affect Lung Function

Vitamin B12 supplementation is helpful in chronic cough; exercise may benefit older adults

THURSDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin B12 supplementation may benefit some patients with chronic cough, and increased physical fitness may help preserve lung function in elderly adults, according to research presented at the 75th annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 in San Diego.

In one study, Caterina B. Bucca, M.D., of the University of Torino in Italy, and colleagues studied the effects of vitamin B12 supplementation in 40 patients with chronic unexplained cough, including 25 patients with a B12 deficiency. After vitamin B12 supplementation, they found that upper and lower airway responsiveness and cough threshold improved significantly in B12-deficient patients, but not in the 15 non-deficient patients.

In a second study, Sung Youn Kwon, M.D., of the Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea, and colleagues assessed 439 men and 561 women over 65 years old. Their adjusted analysis showed that lower muscle mass or higher fat mass in the body or trunk was associated with an increased risk of poor lung function.

"From the results obtained, augmentation of muscle mass and reduction of fat would be helpful to increase or maintain lung function in elderly population," Kwon and colleagues conclude. "Ultimately, it is likely that regular exercise or balanced nutrition will reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with deterioration of lung function."

Abstract - Bucca
Abstract - Kwon
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