A meta-analysis found a reduction in the risk of pneumonia in elderly male smokers after they quit smoking when supplementing with Vitamin E.
Data from over 7,000 participants in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Prevention (ATBC) Study which began in 1985 and ended in 1993 was reviewed. The participants in the ATBC randomized trial were males from the age of 50 to 69 years of age. The age the participants started to smoke affected the results of the Vitamin E on pneumonia. For the participants who began smoking at a later age, 21 years or older, Vitamin E supplementation reduced their risk of getting pneumonia by 35% and 69% for a subgroup of light smokers who exercised regularly.
For those who started smoking before the age of 21 there was no benefit seen in Vitamin E supplementation and reductions in the risk of pneumonia.
One third of the over 7,000 participants had quit smoking for a period. In this group there was a 72% reduction in the incidence of pneumonia in the group supplementing with Vitamin E. This benefit was also seen in those who smoked heavily or who did not exercise.
Further research on Vitamin E is needed.
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