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Cystic Fibrosis Patients Can Benefit From Vitamin Supplements

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“Cystic fibrosis patients who supplement their diet with vitamin C can also derive greater benefit from another antioxidant, vitamin E, resulting in a reduction in damaging inflammation, a study led by Oregon State University suggests.” [Source: Medicalexpress.com]

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Up to 90 percent of cystic fibrosis patients suffer from pancreatic insufficiency, a condition which occurs when the pancreas does not make enough of specific enzymes that are needed by the body to break down and digest food. This results in many of the essential nutrients in foods passing through the body undigested. Nutrient supplementation therefore plays an important role in the proper management of cystic fibrosis. As patients are at particular risk of fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies (vitamins A, D, E, and K), supplementing these in sufficient amounts is vital.

Vitamin A deficiency is a recognized complication of cystic fibrosis. This can result in patients developing eye problems, particularly if they fail to take daily vitamin supplements.

Vitamin D deficiency occurs frequently in cystic fibrosis patients. Recent studies have demonstrated that higher vitamin D status is associated with better lung function and that vitamin D therapy may help recovery from pulmonary exacerbations of cystic fibrosis.

Levels of vitamin E are also commonly low in patients with cystic fibrosis. Research has shown that supplementing with the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 15 mg is insufficient for normalizing vitamin E levels in cystic fibrosis patients and that a daily supplement containing 100 mg is needed.

Patients with cystic fibrosis are similarly at risk for impaired vitamin K status. As with vitamin E, research has shown that doses higher than the RDA are needed to achieve normal levels in patients.

To read how micronutrient supplements have been shown to reduce respiratory illnesses in patients with cystic fibrosis, see this news story on our website.

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