What Vitamins Reduce Inflammation in the Lungs?

Lung inflammation occurs when fluid collects either inside your lungs or within the inner lining of your lungs. The exact cause of lung inflammation varies, but toxins, pollutants, viral infections and lung diseases such as tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis and emphysema appear to contribute to this condition. Symptoms of lung inflammation include chest tightness, shortness of breath, a chronic cough, fever, nausea and wheezing. Treatment generally consists of antibiotics, an inhaler, lung drainage, anti-inflammatory medications, a healthy diet and rest. Along with your prescribed treatment plan, certain vitamins may help to reduce inflammation in your lungs.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A improves immune system function and protects the surface of your respiratory tract from permanent damage, according to Steve Blake, Sc.D., author of “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified.” Dr. Blake adds that vitamin A removes toxins and harmful bacteria from your lungs, opens your airways, helps to repair damaged lung tissue and lowers your risk of bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia. Foods rich in vitamin A include cantaloupe, liver, dandelion greens, collard greens, spinach, iceberg lettuce and dried apricots.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens your immune system and protects your lungs from toxins, pollutants, viral infections and diseases that can trigger lung inflammation, according to Darwin Deen, M.D. and Lisa Hark, Ph.D, R.D., authors of “Complete Guide to Nutrition in Primary Care.” Dr. Deen and Dr. Hark add that vitamin C aids in collagen production, repairs lung damage, accelerates the healing process, increases your lung capacity, decreases lung inflammation, relieves coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing, reduces the amount of histamines in your body and lowers your risk of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Foods rich in vitamin C include papaya, kiwi, parsley, tangerines, limes, celery, watermelon and oranges.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D decreases lung inflammation, heals damaged lung tissue, supports lung health, improves lung function, eases coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, according Joyce Vedral, Ph.D., nutritionist and author of “Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride.” Dr. Vedral adds that vitamin D lowers your risk of chronic lung infections and diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis. Foods rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil, fortified milk, eggs, catfish, trout, fortified orange juice, margarine and ready-to-eat cereals.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that boosts immune system function and helps to protect your lungs from damaging free radicals that can trigger lung inflammation, according to Alan Gaby, M.D. and Schuyler Lininger, D.C., authors of “Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Alternative Treatments for Common Health Conditions.” Dr. Gaby and Dr. Lininger add that that vitamin E removes toxins from your lungs, increases lung capacity, reduces lung inflammation, promotes lung health, repairs lung tissue damage, aids in red blood cell formation and lowers your risk of asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. Foods rich in vitamin E include soybean oil, peanut butter, almonds, sunflower oil, mangoes, broccoli and spinach.


Magnesium is a mineral that increases lung capacity, decreases lung inflammation, eliminates mucus from your airways, reduces your histamine levels, alleviates wheezing, coughing and chest tightness and lowers your risk of emphysema, asthma and bronchitis, according to Robert Green, N.D., author of “Emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Therapeutic Approaches Through Nutrition, Natural Medicine and Alternative Medicine.” Dr. Green adds that magnesium improves lung function, relaxes your lung muscles and reduces your risk of bronchial passage spasms. Foods rich in magnesium include halibut, tuna, dried figs, bananas, brown rice, prunes, milk, yogurt, beans and wheat flour.

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