Smoking: An Assault On Your Nutrition

Smoking can kill you, yet a lot of people can’t stop. What is it about smoking, that compels people to indulge, even knowing the increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer? Certainly, Nicotine Addiction is part of the answer. Millions of people smoke, and hundreds of thousands die each year as a result. According to the Centers For Disease Control, more people die each year due to tobacco-related medical problems than alcohol use, HIV, illegal drug use, motor vehicle accidents, murders and suicides combined.I thought it was important to establish that Smoking is a deadly activity. Little do you hear about the effects of Smoking on your nutrition. The foods you eat, the supplements you take, are broken down into the vitamins and other nutrients that your body needs to survive. What exactly are the negative effects of Smoking, and the interaction with the vital nutrients you need for good health?

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Lets take a look at which Vitamins are affected:* Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a wonderful anti-oxidant, which means it protects your cells against fee-radical damage. Free radical damage is really the effects of oxidative stress on the DNA in your cells. Studies have shown that smokers need to supplement with extra amounts of the vital nutrient, an additional 50mg over the MDR is recommended.* Vitamin E: This vitamin is another anti-oxidant, but is fat soluble, which means that it can build up in your body. Unlike Vitamin C, which is water soluble, and excess amounts can be excreted in the urine. It was discovered that smoking can cause this vitamin to deplete in the body even quicker than Vitamin C. Smokers should consider an increase of 20% over their usual daily dose.* Vitamin D: Vitamin D has become a real news- maker of late. It’s importance to human nutrition is now accepted without question. Research has shown the link to Calcium Absorption. You must absorb a sufficient amount of Calcium in order to have strong bones and teeth. A recent Study in the European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that female smokers between the age of forty-five and fifty-eight had lower levels of Calcium and Vitamin D, than the control group. They became at risk for osteoporosis.

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* Vitamin A: The results of several studies have shown a deficiency of Vitamin A in subjects who smoke. A deficiency in this vitamin can result in damage to the eyesight, and the possibility of developing a serious eye condition. The depletion of this vitamin can also have an adverse affect on the respiratory system, and the lungs ability to absorb oxygen, thus affecting the smoker’s ability to breathe.If you really want to know exactly which of your Vitamins and Minerals have become depleted as a result of smoking, you should have Blood Tests to determine your levels, then you will know, in a more precise manner, which nutrients, and how much of each, need to be supplemented.