High fruit intake delays lung function decline in past smokers
High intake of fruits and tomatoes may delay the decline in lung function in adults, particularly in ex-smokers, a recent study has found.
Food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) were used to assess the dietary intake of 680 adults (mean age at baseline 43.8±6.6 years), among whom 16 percent were current smokers while 40 percent had smoked in the past.
Forced vital capacity (FVC) decreased by a mean of 389 mL over the 10-year study period. High consumption of all fruits significantly slowed the yearly decline by 3.48 mL (95 percent CI, 0.04–6.92; p=0.048). High consumption of apples (3.96 mL/year; 0.76–7.15; p=0.01), bananas (3.97 mL/year; 0.51–7.43; p=0.03), and tomatoes (4.74 mL/year; 1.35–8.13; p=0.006) also significantly decelerated the decline in FVC.
In comparison, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) declined by 445 mL over the 10-year study period. Only consumption of total fruit significantly slowed down the yearly decline in FEV1 (2.99 mL/year; 0.37–5.61; p=0.025).
The researchers then investigated the role of smoking and found that dietary intake was significantly related to FVC and FEV1 only in ex-smokers. Total fruit intake, for example, significantly decelerated FEV1 (6.41 mL/year; 2.29–10.5; p=0.002) and FVC (8.13 mL/year; 2.22–14.01; p=0.007) decline only in ex-smokers.
Total intake of apples (FEV1: 4.79 mL/year; 0.87–8.72; p=0.017; FVC: 6.75 mL/year; 1.14–12.34; p=0.018) and tomatoes (FEV1: 5.51 mL/year; 0.87–9.44; p=0.019; FVC: 9.09 mL/year; 3.04–15.14; p=0.003) also slowed down the yearly decline in lung function exclusively in ex-smokers. This trend was absent in current and never-smokers.