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Vitamin B Supplements May Help Fight Off Impact Of Pollution, Study Shows [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 15, 2017 11:19 AM EDT

New research revealed that Vitamin B may work to ease the effects of air pollution, particularly the damage caused by the pollutant PM2.5.

Particulate matter (PM) or particle pollution is a mixture of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air that can cause health problems. It comes in various sizes with diameters ranging from 2.5 to 10 micrometers. These particles can enter the lungs when inhaled. PM2.5 is a fine particle that may cause unwanted changes in the way DNA works. It is blamed for inflammation and oxidative stress on the body.

The results of the study published in the journal PNAS on Monday demonstrated how B-vitamin supplementation could help mitigate the effect of air pollution to the health. In the experiment, the volunteers were exposed to PM2.5 for two hours. It led to huge changes in a key DNA function. Vitamin B supplements which consist of 2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of Vitamin B6, and 1 mg of Vitamin B12 prevented the changes from happening. It was able to alleviate the effects of the air pollutant by 28 to 76 percent.

There are not many options for people to avoid the severe impact of pollution, so the outcome of the study presents valuable information as to how it can be done.

The researchers warned however, that the sample is too small and that further research is needed. They also stressed that policies and efforts to keep pollution under control should remain.

Along with policies and other efforts to keep pollution levels under control, Vitamin B could be used on an individual level to avoid the impact of unhealthy air to the body, the researchers suggested.

The World Health Organization blames outdoor air pollution for an estimated 3 million early deaths every year. These deaths are caused by heart diseases, strokes, lung problems and cancer.

Unfortunately, 92 percent of the world people live in areas where the air quality is below WHO's guidelines. Indoor smoke also needs to be reduced.

Cooking and heating homes using biomass fuels and coal also contributes to the worsening air quality. It is responsible for some 4.3 million premature deaths according to the WHO.

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