How Air Pollution is Harming Your Health – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 277
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
The late professor Barry Commoner had a quote that always stuck with me: “Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented.” That really resonated with me the first time I heard that. When we look at air pollution in this country and throughout the world, we can see the true harmful long-lasting effects. Take this pandemic, for example, and looking at air pollution as being a pre-determining factor in terms of severity outcomes. They did a study early on in the pandemic where they recognized that people in the regions of Italy that had the poorest air quality did much worse in terms of their exposure to COVID-19. Atmospheric pollution is driving poor health outcomes.†
We need to understand that if we do nothing for the enormous amount of air pollution that we are exposed to every single day and we are not taking precautionary measures ourselves in terms of trying to get the right nutrients in every day and trying to live as healthy a lifestyle as we possibly can, then we’re in a lot of trouble. This is especially problematic in places like New York City, where we know air pollution is certainly linked to so many different chronic diseases. The exponential amount of people who have succumbed every year directly to air pollution is really very alarming. There’s usually around 3000 deaths per year that they can contribute directly to air pollution. That’s a major problem.†
Air pollution and heart health
Every year, there is an annual publication on air pollution and the health of New Yorkers where the researchers go through and they talk about the different particulate matters and their health impacts. The researchers track the number of hospital admissions due to respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and exacerbation of asthma.†
I think the one area that really catches a lot of people’s eyes is when they realize the impact of air pollution on the heart. Researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health did some interesting epigenomic work, where they were able to look at the true impact of air pollution on the cardiovascular system. One area that was really quite intriguing from all of that research was B vitamins and finding that people in New York City who had more cardiovascular disease brought on secondarily due to air pollution had low B vitamin status in the body. The researchers found that just supplementing with these crucial B vitamins could be critical in reducing the impact of air pollution.†
A study that came out in 2017 in the Scientific Reports Nature Research Journal talking about B vitamin supplementation and how that can mitigate the effects of fine particles on cardiac dysfunction and inflammation. The researchers talked about these ambient fine particles in air pollution, which we can’t see or smell but are breathing in every day. These particles can trigger acute cardiovascular events and they can create significant endothelial dysfunction and inflammation. The researchers wanted to see if giving folks B vitamins would do anything. They were testing their B vitamin levels, including folic acid, B6 and B12, and correlating that with coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and overall cardiovascular disease. This decision was based on recent studies that suggested that B vitamins could minimize the health effects of environmental stressors through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They saw that B vitamin supplementation could be successfully used to curb oxidative stress, inflammation and metabolic changes that have been brought on from environmental stressors, including air pollution. In just giving people B vitamins, they saw this significant shift in cardiovascular functionality.†
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 92% of the world’s population currently lives in places where air quality levels exceed the limits for what is considered to be okay. This means that 92% of people in this world, every single day, are breathing in air that contains higher than acceptable levels of these contaminants and air pollutants that get deposited into the respiratory tract, can affect overall systemic inflammation, can drive up oxidative stress and can affect the heart. Understanding that taking a blend of just folic acid, B6 and B12 could make a significant difference is incredibly important.†
Tune into the full podcast episode for more details about how air pollution can impact your body.
Air pollution is not something that we should mess around with. We have to be wise, so at minimum, taking Methyl-B, which is the activated B vitamins from InVite Health, once per day. We also have to support our liver’s ability to detoxify, which can be done with the Daily Detox powder or the Detox Hx tablet. We have to make sure that we have adequate nutrients on board to ease inflammation and target oxidative stress.
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