Early Fiber Intake Forestalls Respiratory Problems
California already boasts some of the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the nation, but two new developments edge it closer to becoming the land of the smoke-free. One recently proposed bill would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21; another new regulation declares second-hand tobacco smoke a "toxic air contaminant.'' Both are good news for Californians -- and all Americans if other states follow suit.
Unfortunately, avoiding second-hand smoke is not always easy, particularly for those children living with smokers. While the best way to protect your child from this "toxic air contaminant" is to make your house a no-smoking zone, a recent study from the National Institute of Environmental Sciences in North Carolina suggests that ensuring adequate fiber intake may help as well.
In the largest study to date of the effects of second-hand smoke, researchers looked at 35,000 Singaporeans, 65% of whom had lived with one or more smokers during their childhood, and found that study subjects with the lowest early fiber intake had the highest risk of developing respiratory problems later in life. One hypothesis: Higher fiber intake may lessen the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by second-hand smoke.