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November 2017

Dr. Haiyan Tong, PhD

Does Eating Right Protect You From Air Pollution?

Exposure to air pollution contributes importantly to excess morbidity and mortality. “Clean Air Act” has saved millions of lives by improving air quality, there are still millions of people in the U.S. who live in areas where particulate air pollution levels exceed the U.S. EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Using a controlled human exposure design, we have demonstrated that 3g/day of omega-3 fatty acids for 4 weeks attenuated the concentrated ambient particles-induced increases in sympathetic nervous activity and cardiac repolarization indices and lipids changes in middle-aged healthy adults. Our study suggests that taking dietary supplements such as fish oil or fatty fish has the potential to provide at least partial protection against air pollution-induced adverse health effects in those individuals who are known to be most susceptible, namely those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

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