Common Plant Compound Found To Reverse Lung Damage Associated With COPD


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD is the 5th leading cause of death worldwide, and the third leading cause of death in the US. There are several different elements of COPD, but new research is showing that a simple plant compound can reverse all of them.

COPD tends to be a blanket term for a long list of respiratory conditions related to degeneration of different aspects of the respiratory system. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are often the two primary conditions that lead to a diagnosis of COPD, that often overlap. The general worsening of lung disease and resulting damage is the main difference COPD and other respiratory conditions. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term inflammation of the bronchial tubes.

Emphysema is the gradual destruction of the tiny air sacks in the lungs called alveoli that are responsible for oxygenating the blood. Both of these conditions result in a constant shortness of breath, fatigue, and even death. Other conditions that attribute to COPD are bronchiectasis which is characterized by damage and scaring in airways, and asthma – which is characterized by narrowing of the airways. Both of these conditions can be congenital, but bronchiectasis is often more of an acquired condition. The main causes of COPD are smoking, genetics, and environmental exposure to dust, chemicals, and toxins.

Most doctors will tell you that lung tissue cannot be regenerated. A recent study done by Dr. Gloria De Carlo Massaro and Donald Massaro, is proving otherwise. Their recent research, which was done at Georgetown University School of Medicine, found that derivative of vitamin A actually reversed emphysema in rats. The specific compound that was used was all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), and it allowed the mice to re-grow healthy alveoli. Dr. Donald Massaro said, “It appeared that the treatment regenerated the adult rat’s ability to produce alveoli, the small air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide move between the lungs and the bloodstream.

The production of alveoli normally ends in childhood.” In another study done by Professor Malcolm Maden, of the Medical Research Centre for Developmental Neurobiology at King’s College, London, did a similar study. He explained that in their research his team, “saw quite dramatic results. It is potentially hopeful for emphysema sufferers, and for premature babies who often suffer from loss of alveoli because of treatments given to stimulate lung growth.”

The safest, and most natural way to increase levels of vitamin A in your body is with your diet. Beta-carotene is a plant compound responsible for the color of certain food like carrots, and when you eat it, it is converted into vitamin A in the body. Aside from it’s abilities to treat conditions like COPD, it is also a hunter/killer for free radicals in the body.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the best way to increase the bioavailability of foods high in beta-carotene is by eating them with healthy fats and/or chopping, pureeing, and cooking them in oil. Another great way to get the vitamin potential of beta-carotene is by juicing organic, fresh fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotenoids. One cup of raw carrots contains a whopping 9,135 mg of beta-carotene, and can be an efficient and delicious way to boost beta-carotene levels.