Sunday, July 1, 2007

Antioxidants and Secondhand Smoke

Smoking cigars or cigarettes is not only bad for the health of the smoker but also for the non-smoker who is exposed to secondhand smoke.

Sources of secondhand smoke:
-Smoke from the burning end of a cigarette.
-Smoke exhaled by the smoker.

Chemicals identified in secondhand smoke:
-More than 4,000 but could reach 10,000.
-More than 50 of these are carcinogens.
-Metals that catalyze the direct oxidation of cellular proteins.

Risk of respiratory tract diseases ranks high when we are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Concentrations of NNK, a cancer causing toxin and a biomarker for exposure to secondhandsmoke, are found in non smoking employees of bar and restaurants which allow smoking. Read this article.

Exposure to secondhand smoke also depletes the vitamins in your body. Antioxidant vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A are not spared from the harmful effect of secondhand smoke.

If you are a smoker or a non-smoker but is frequently 'surrounded' by smokers, the best you can do to maintain your health is to replenish the depleted vitamins in your body especially Vitamin C which aside from being an antioxidant is also an immune booster.

Sources for vitamins and antioxidants:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Green Tea
- Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements

Reference: National Cancer Institute

You may also want to read:

Antioxidants and Exposure to Radiation
Aging - Antioxidants and Cognitive Brain Function
Antioxidant Lycopene Can Treat Many Diseases
Meditation Can Give You a Lift