Antioxidants Protect from Ozone Damage

High levels of ozone in the air we breathe are a major public health problem. It is estimated that more than 130 million Americans live in areas where ozone levels exceed safety standards. Exposure to ozone is known to cause decreased breathing capacity, airway hyperreactivity, and inflammation of the airway passages. In a study last year, (Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2001 164 819) participants were given a combination of antioxidants that included vitamin C, vitamin E and a vegetable cocktail. Antioxidants were found to be protective against decline in lung function but not to reduce markers of inflammation caused by ozone exposure.

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