Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and a growing healthcare problem. Identification of modifiable risk factors for prevention and treatment of COPD is urgent, and the scientific community has begun to pay close attention to diet as an integral part of COPD management, from prevention to treatment. This review summarizes the evidence from observational and clinical studies regarding the impact of nutrients and dietary patterns on lung function and COPD development, progression, and outcomes, with highlights on potential mechanisms of action. Although definitive data are lacking, the available scientific evidence indicates that some foods and nutrients, especially those nutraceuticals endowed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and when consumed in combinations in the form of balanced dietary patterns, are associated with better pulmonary function, less lung function decline, and reduced risk of COPD. Knowledge of dietary influences on COPD may provide health professionals with an evidence-based lifestyle approach to better counsel patients toward improved pulmonary health. According to WHO estimates mainly from high-income countries, 65 million people have moderate to severe COPD, but a great proportion of COPD worldwide may be underdiagnosed, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. COPD burden is projected to dramatically increase due to chronic exposure to risk factors and the changing age structure of the world population and is expected to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by WHO Therefore, prevention and management of COPD is currently considered a major health problem, with important social and economic issues. COPD encompasses a group of disorders, including small airway obstruction, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, and is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways and lung parenchyma with progressive and irreversible airflow limitation [ 2 ]. Symptoms of COPD include dyspnea distress with breathing, cough, and sputum production. To account for the complexity of the disease and aiding in disease severity assessment, multidimensional indices mainly based on clinical and functional parameters have been developed.
Are your daily lifestyle choices setting you up for illness in later life, or even worse are they impacting your life right now? Take our quiz today and find out! Take The Quiz. When change is too late to stop the occurrence of these diseases, lifestyle changes can prevent them from getting worse. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a general term for several lung diseases, mainly chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These diseases are characterized by obstructed airflow through the airways in and out of the lungs. Both cause excessive inflammatory processes that eventually lead to abnormalities in lung structure and limited airflow. Both are progressive conditions that worsen over time. COPD symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, excessive mucus production and coughing. In addition, COPD adds to the work of the heart, and can cause pulmonary heart disease.
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