Smoking robs your body of important nutrients
As per a report from WHO, in 2012, 21% of the global population aged 15 and above smoked tobacco. 36% of Men and 7% of women globally smoke. These numbers are alarming on their own as Smoking causes several health concerns such as lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease. This is something which is very widely known. Even after stringent regulation over tobacco advertising, number of smokers are constantly rising. However what is not commonly known is that smoking results into a multiple deficiency of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
How Smoking Causes Nutritional Deficiencies
Smoking inhibits the flow of gastric juices preventing proper digestion and utilization of food thereby causing nutritional deficiencies. It causes more rapid passage of foods, all of which rob the smoker of needed nutrients, such as:
- Smoking destroys one-third of the vitamin C intake in the average diet.
- Smoking reduces the available vitamin E.
- Smoking destroys the amino acid, cysteine, leading to early onset of skin wrinkles and an aged appearance. Yeah! Smoking will make you look older!
- Smoking indirectly results in reduction of Glutathione in the body. Glutathione is generated by body through synthesis of Cysteine, a lack of it is involved in the craving for alcohol. Glutathione is a major detoxifier in the body.
- Smoking induced Glutathione deficiency results in heavy metal poisoning. Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant. It is found in every cell of the body and it protects it, particularly in the liver and brain. Glutathione is the main antioxidant, which removes lead, cadmium, mercury and aluminum from the cells, and detoxifies many cancer-causing substances. Glutathione is not something you can do without.
- Smoking induced Glutathione deficiency hastens aging.
- Smoking destroys several important amino acids such as Cysteine, Glycine, Glutamine and Vitamin B – Complex.
- Smoking destroys Cysteine, which also converts to cystine, which promotes the utilization of vitamin B6. Therefore lack of Cysteine leads to sub-optimal utilisation of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is necessary to many, many body functions and smoking hampers them all.
Smoking Reduces your body Capability to Heal
Smoking reduces your body capability to heal as it not only rob it of some of the most important antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Glutathione, it also:
- Constricts the blood vessels and capillaries, overburdens the heart and causes it to work at a much more rapid beat
- Reduces the red corpuscles’ capacity to carry oxygen, and reduces blood flow to cells
- Destroys cilia in the airways, allowing mucus to accumulate. causing “smoker’s cough”.
- Smoking just one cigarette interrupts collagen production for 30- 40 minutes. Collagen is needed in all healing, including broken bone.
- Smoking induced nicotine predisposes the body to insulin resistance leading to onset of diabetes.
Supplements to Help you deal with Nutritional Deficiencies
So either you are a smoker, or you love someone who does – else, you would not have reached till this part of this article. But what is most important is that you want to get better and get healthy. Below are some supplements you must consider:
Multivitamins as the name suggests are dietary supplement with combination of vitamin and sometimes these supplements are also known as multi-minerals or multi-vitamin-minerals. Multi-vitamins are available in the form of capsule, tablets, powder and liquid. A good quality multi-vitamin-mineral-Supplement is a great base for a step towards overall health and well being.
Make sure that your Multi-Vitamin-Mineral-Supplement has full spectrum minerals and vitamins and it does not contain Iron and Copper. Avoid Gummy and chewable multivitamins as they are high in sugar and contain much lesser vitamin and mineral content compared to standard multivitamins.
Also be wary of the highly advertised multivitamins as they usually contain very small dosages of inferior quality which will add nothing to your health, unless you are counting the placebo effect. 🙂
2. Vitamin B Complex Supplement:
Vitamin B Complex of B Vitamins are a group of 9 Vitamins and they are essential for good health, growth and maintenance.
B Vitamins are water soluble and play a very important role in the healthy function of various organs and tissues in the body—including the heart, nerves, muscles , gastrointestinal tract, nervous system and endocrine system—and in the formation of red blood cells.
B vitamins help regulate appetite and are necessary for proper growth, development, and metabolism.
3. Vitamin C Supplement:
Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble antioxidant for both intra and extra-cellular reactions and is heavily involved in reactions with reduced iron and copper metallothione enzymes.
The synthesis of collagen (proline or lysine hydroxylatlon), carnitine and neurotransmitters (note p1- nephrine and 5-hydroxytryptophan) require vitamin C dependent enzymes. It has a very important role in wound-healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries. Ascorbate may also act as an antioxidant against oxidative stress.
In plain words vitamin C can fight off a whole lot of toxins and pollutants that enter your body through food, air and skin!
4. Vitamin E Supplement:
As an antioxidant, vitamin E acts as a peroxyl radical scavenger, disabling the production of damaging free radicals in tissues, by reacting with them to form a tocopheryl radical, which will then be reduced by a hydrogen donor (such as vitamin C) and thus return to its reduced state.
As it is fat-soluble, it is incorporated into cell membranes, which protects them from oxidative damage. Vitamin E has also found use as a commercial antioxidant in ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) used in hip and knee replacements, to help resist oxidation.
When combined with vitamin C, together they have a very powerful synergistic effect.