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A new study revealed that B vitamins may play a critical role in reducing the impact of air pollution. The results are published online in the journal PNAS
The WHO estimates that 92 percent of the world’s population currently lives in places where air quality levels exceed the WHO limits of 10 μg/m3. Ambient PM2.5 pollution is one of the most prominent air pollutants because they deposit in the respiratory tract resulting in both lung and systemic inflammation and stress.
The researchers administered one placebo or B-vitamin supplement (2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6, and 1 mg of vitamin B12) daily to each adult recruited for the trial. volunteers were required to be healthy non-smokers, 18 to 60 years old, who were not taking any medicines or vitamin supplements.
The study was undertaken by researchers at Columbia University’s Maijman School of Public Health showed that B vitamins may play a critical role in reducing the impact of air pollution on the epigenome, further demonstrating the epigenetic effects of air pollution on health.
Plasma B vitamin measurements taken before and after placebo and supplementation showed that B-vitamin supplements significantly increased the median plasma concentrations of folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. For those who took placebos for 4 weeks, their median plasma concentrations were similar. All exposure experiments were conducted at the same time of the day.
“While emission control and regulation is the backbone of prevention, high exposures are, unfortunately, the rule still in many megacities throughout the world. As individuals, we have limited options to protect ourselves against air pollution.” said Dr. Baccarelli, lead author of the study.