Smoker’s Nutrition

Containing over 4,000 chemicals, including more than sixty known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances, tobacco smoke has an obvious negative impact on health. People who smoke cigarettes or any other form of tobacco are at greater risk for such serious respiratory illnesses as lung, cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, as well as coronary heart disease, stroke, circulatory problems, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.

Smoking robs the body of a number of important vitamins and minerals, and it also affects the body’s ability to absorb these essential nutrients. The primary nutrient affected by cigarette smoke is vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, is needed for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and is essential for healing wounds. It is also necessary to form collagen, a protein that is required to make blood vessels, skin, scar tissue, and ligaments. As one of the body’s many antioxidants, vitamin C helps block some of the damage caused by free radicals.

Supplements for smokers

• Alpha-lipoic acid
• Carnitine
• Coenzyme Q10
• N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
• Selenium
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E

Warning – You already know that very high dosages of vitamin A and beta-carotene can cause certain health risks. However, recent studies have shown that smokers who intake high dosages of vitamin A and/or beta-carotene may hve an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Consequently, do not take more than 8,000 IU a day of vitamin A or beta-carotene – especially if you are a smoker.

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