Smokers tend to have lower levels of certain vitamins in their body. Learn the causes and potential solutions.
Smoking affects your health in more ways than you can ever imagine. One key health problem that results from long-term tobacco use is the depletion of vitamins.
Unfortunately, some bigger issues like heart health and lung cancer overshadow this issue often. Even worse, only a few scientific data regarding vitamin depletion among smokers is currently available.
Nevertheless, the vitamin issue in smokers is serious and needs an immediate attention from both the smokers and healthcare professionals. In addition, smokers should consider taking vitamin supplements to replenish the lost nutrients. That way, they might be able to reap the other health benefits of vitamins as well.
How Smoking Causes Vitamin and Mineral Depletion
Cigarette smoke is a potent source of chemicals called free radicals that wreak havoc on the cellular functions. They not only damage the cells but also deplete blood levels of the vitamins - C, D, E, and certain B vitamins.
Similarly, studies have found that smokers tend to have lower blood levels nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fats like EPA and DHA.
Not to forget that each puff of cigarette smoke contains 1014 and 1015 free radicals in the tar and gas phases, respectively. Now, you can imagine how would a pack of cigarette daily affect your nutritional status in the long run.
Another major problem with smokers is that they are more likely to miss a balanced diet, most probably, due to an altered sense of taste and problems with hunger regulation.
Altogether, these can lead to a considerable nutrition problem especially when the duration of smoking extends for years.
Vitamin Depletion in Smokers: What are the Potential Solutions?
It goes without saying that quitting smoking is the best you can do to maintain your health. However, it is easier said than done. We all know that nicotine, the main culprit in cigarette smoke, is one of the most addictive substances in the world.
That said, you could do certain things to reduce the effect of smoking on your nutritional status. The first thing to do is - take a balanced diet that consists of whole grains, lean meat, green leafy vegetables, and fruits. These foods contain a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals that can help replenish the lost nutrients.
Next, you should consider taking a nutritional supplement that is specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of a smoker. Before you opt for one, make sure to read the labels, the ingredient list, and potential benefits.
Various scientific studies suggest that a supplement with healthy omega-3 fats - EPA and DHA along with antioxidant vitamins C and E can be a great solution to common nutritional problems in smokers. In fact, a 2016 study suggests EPA and DHA may be used in prevention or treatment of smoking.
Click here to learn more about the specific supplements that can help quitting and preserve your health.