How Fiber Reduces The Damaging Effects of Second-Hand Smoke

If the true cost of a pack of cigarettes -- estimated to be nearly $40 when all the extra health costs are taken into account -- won't make you stop smoking, perhaps its harmful effects on your children will.

Based on a study of 35,000 non-smokers in Singapore, ranging in age from 45-74, almost half of the patients surveyed had fathers who smoked and close to 20 percent were exposed by their mothers. The more smokers in the home during childhood, not surprisingly, the greater risk of chronic cough and phlegm.

The good news about this study: Patients who ate about 8 grams of fiber every day -- roughly the amount of two apples -- didn't suffer as much harm from second-hand smoke. According to researchers, the extra fiber lowered blood glucose concentrations and inflammation as well as raised the amount of vital antioxidants their bodies used to better protect them from cigarette smoke.

One caveat: One of the main sources of fiber in the diet of Singapore patients was soy, a problematic and potentially dangerous "food" if there ever was one. Although processed soy products are consumed by more than 200 million Americans, thousands of studies have linked them to a host of problems, including malnutrition, cognitive decline and infertility.

Fermented, unprocessed soy products like natto, miso and tempeh, however, are far healthier for you, as the fermentation process aids in liberating otherwise difficult to digest nutrients in the soybean, making them more available for absorption.

EurekAlert August 30, 2005

Thorax August 30, 2005

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