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Nutrients. 2019 Mar 28;11(4). pii: E725. doi: 10.3390/nu11040725.

The Effects of Dietary Supplements on Asthma and Lung Cancer Risk in Smokers and Non-Smokers: A Review of the Literature.

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Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Heart, Mind and Body Research Group, Griffith University, Gold Coast 4222, Australia.


Smoking is one of the major global causes of death. Cigarette smoke and secondhand (passive) smoke have been causally related to asthma and lung cancer. Asthma is a potential risk factor for developing lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. Prospective studies and randomized control trials (RCTs) of dietary supplements and lung cancer risk in adult smokers and non-smokers have yielded inconsistent results. A few prospective studies have shown that long-term use of high doses of some supplements, such as retinol, β-carotene, B vitamins, and vitamin E, increase lung cancer risk in current and former smokers. Limited evidence from RCTs suggests that vitamin D supplementation is effective in improving lung function and reducing asthma risk in current/former smokers. The relationship between dietary supplements and lung cancer risk has never before been examined in asthmatic smokers and non-smokers. This short review aims to examine the evidence from existing studies for the effects of dietary supplements on asthma/lung cancer risk and mortality in smokers and non-smokers.


asthma; current smokers; dietary supplements; former smokers; lung cancer; non-smokers

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