Common Plant Compound Found to Reverse Lung Damage Associated with COPD

copd cure

“Given the high costs, both direct and indirect, associated with COPD, there is an urgent need to identify novel approaches to treat the disease,” said Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, professor of medicine at Boston University Medical Center. [1]



The COPD Epidemic

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, and asthma . But it most commonly describes two often overlapping and life threatening lung diseases: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is a progressively worsening debilitating lung disease that adversely affects breathing by obstructing airflow and causing lung tissue damage.


COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death worldwide. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) estimate that an additional 12 million people have COPD but haven’t been diagnosed.


The National Emphysema Foundation states that 3.1 million Americans have emphysema while 11.2 million have been officially diagnosed with COPD.


Chronic Bronchitis: According to the Mayo clinic, chronic bronchitis is characterized by chronic inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which are the primary vehicle for air transport in (oxygen) and out (CO2) of the lungs. Common symptoms include: shortness of breath (“dyspnea”), thickening and narrowing of the airway lining, constant coughing to remove copious amounts of difficult to expel phlegm, wheezing and fatigue. Chest infections are common.


Emphysema: Emphysema involves the gradual destruction of the small, air sacs (alveoli) located at the tip of the smallest air passages (bronchioles). Overtime the walls of the air sacs are destroyed resulting in “holes” leaving fewer and larger air sacs which diminish the gas exchanged in the lungs leading to dyspnea, fatigue and early death.


Bronchiectasis: Bronchiectasis (brong-ke-EK-tah-sis) is a chronic lung disease that is characterized by scarred and damaged airways, which causes them to widen and become flaccid. Although it can be a congenital defect, it’s more often an “acquired” disease caused by a severe lung infection or repetitive infections or an injury.


The damaged airways can no longer efficiently clear mucus and become inflamed. Eventually, they lose their ability to clear out mucus. Mucus builds up. Unwanted bacteria multiply leading to chronic infections, which results in more airway damage and decreased oxygen flow to the vital organs. Typical symptoms include, chronic coughing to remove excess phlegm, fatigue and shortness of breath. [2]


Asthma: Asthma (AZ-ma) is a chronic lung disease that causes inflamed narrowed airways. Asthma symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. More than 25 million people in the US have been diagnosed with asthma and approximately 7 million are children. Over time, chronic inflammation can destroy the surface layer of the airways.


According to Hugh H. Windom, MD, associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida, “The surface layer acts as a kind of filter, but once it’s gone, all of the pollutants and allergens have direct access into the lungs.” [3]


COPD Causes, Prognosis, and Disease Management

Allopathic mainstream medicine believes the most common causes of COPD are smoking, genetic factors (alpha-1 antitrypsin disease) and long term environmental exposures to toxic chemicals, fumes, or dust, in the workplace.


Conventional medicine considers COPD to be incurable, progressive, irreversible and fatal. Most allopathic doctors believe lung tissue can never be regenerated. Palliative care or disease management is the standard treatment for COPD patients. Smoking cessation is a primary treatment goal.


Big Pharma medications used to manage COPD symptoms include: toxic chemical inhalers, dangerous steroids (anti-inflammatories), oxygen, and mucous thinning drugs. In severe cases surgical interventions including lung transplants are resorted to.


New Studies Reveal Lung Tissue Can be Regenerated

Research performed by Dr. Gloria De Carlo Massaro and Dr. Donald Massaro at Georgetown University School of Medicine, successfully reversed emphysema in experimental rats. The researchers used a derivative of vitamin A: all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA).


Twelve days of daily ATRA injections enabled the mice to grow healthy new alveoi. Dr. Donald Massaro said, “It appeared that the treatment regenerated the adult rat’s ability to produce alveoli, the small air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide move between the lungs and the bloodstream. The production of alveoli normally ends in childhood.” [4]


Interestingly, a 2003 study published in Journal of Nutrition (Vols. 130 and 133): “Vitamin A Depletion Induced by Cigarette Smoke Is Associated with the Development of Emphysema in Rats” demonstrated why cigarette smoking is considered to be the primary cause of emphysema.


Previous studies by Lead researcher, Richard C. Baybutt revealed that rats fed a diet deficient in vitamin A developed emphysema. In the new 2003 study, it was discovered that rats exposed to cigarette smoke became vitamin A deficient. A common carcinogen found in cigarettes called benzopyrene had previously been linked to vitamin A deficiency.


When the researchers fed benzopyrene to rats it predictably induced a vitamin A deficiency. Baybutt explained: “When the lung content of vitamin A was low, the score of emphysema was high.” He added, “So, the hypothesis is that smokers develop emphysema because of a vitamin A deficiency.”


To further solidify the link between smoking, vitamin A deficiency and emphysema, Baybutt and team fed the lung damaged rats a diet rich in vitamin A. The result was promising to say the least. “We saw that the areas of emphysema were effectively reduced,” he said.


He feels that a vitamin A deficiency may be the culprit behind emphysema and cigarettes could merely be the vehicle. Baybutt also believes that there is a link between Vitamin A deficiency and lung cancer, as vitamin A has known anti-cancer attributes. [5]


More Clinical Trials

According to a Mail Online article, “Vitamin ‘cure’ for emphysema”: British scientists announced that retinoic acid commonly used to treat acne reversed Emphysema damaged lungs in mice. In fact, the article claims that clinical trials with humans have begun in America.


Professor Malcolm Maden, of the Medical Research Centre for Developmental Neurobiology at King’s College, London, said his team’s research “… saw quite dramatic results. It is potentially hopeful for emphysema sufferers, and for premature babies who often suffer from loss of alveoli because of treatments given to stimulate lung growth.” The researchers found that the compound stimulated alveoli to regenerate back to normal function. [6]


Beta-Carotene or Vitamin A

Beta-carotene is one type of carotenoid. It’s a pigment found in plants that helps produce the vivid colors of certain fruits and vegetables, such as cantaloupe and carrots. When ingested, beta- carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A (retinol), which can then be used by the body for a variety of purposes, or it can simply act as an antioxidant scavenging free radicals.


The best way to safely increase vitamin A/Beta-Carotene Levels is with Food. Experts warn that large or even semi-large oral doses of synthetic stand-alone supplemental vitamin A can be dangerous. Since vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, it’s stored in the liver and large doses can damage the liver. The best way to ensure adequate levels of beta carotene or vitamin A is via your diet, not through pills. [7]


In fact, smokers, former smokers, and those exposed to asbestos may have an increased lung cancer risk from taking supplemental, isolated beta-carotene. Also several studies revealed that beta-carotene supplements could adversely affect the heart and may increase cancer risk. [8] [8A]


Kitchen Table Medicine

Instead of waiting for Big Pharma’s synthetic, negative side –effect laden miracle drug to reverse lung tissue damage, why not make your own beta –carotene medicine from real food? Here’s a list of the top 10 foods highest in beta carotene.  [9]


The Linus Pauling Institute recommends increasing the bioavailability of carotenoid rich foods by eating them with fat at mealtime and/or chopping, pureeing, and cooking them in oil. Daily juicing of organic, fresh fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotenoids can be an efficient and delicious method for therapeutically boosting beta-carotene levels. One cup of raw carrots contains a whopping 9,135 mg of beta-carotene! [10]


Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s valiant contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are world renowned. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.
















Integrative Management of Respiratory Illnesses

Infections of the respiratory system commonly present to the outpatient primary care setting. The first decision for the primary care provider is to determine the appropriate setting for treatment, in hospital or outpatient.1 The second decision is to initiate empiric therapy with or without an initial work-up for the microbial cause of the infection. In the outpatient setting, many cases of respiratory infection are amenable to naturopathic treatment as an alternative to the conventional standard of care. Where necessary, the standard of care treatment should be initiated without hesitation, yet in these circumstances naturopathic treatment may make an excellent adjunct to conventional care and may improve outcomes.

The world over, pneumonia is the most important infectious cause of death in children. Liu et al. (2012) analyzed global mortality figures from 2010 and determined that, of the 7.6 million children annually who do not reach their fifth birthday, two-thirds of them die from infectious causes; pneumonia is the leading cause of infection and death among them.2 In America, the combination of pneumonia and influenza remains the eighth leading cause of death, annually. This makes it the most common infection-related cause of mortality.3

The Respiratory Benefits of Lungwort

Lungwort, also known as lung moss or lobaria pulmonaria, is a lichen that has been used around the world for a variety of respiratory ailments including coughs, colds, bronchial detoxification and catarrhal problems. Lungwort is found in native damp habitats and coastal areas in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. Because it’s very sensitive to environmental toxins, the areas in which it is found are typically unpolluted old forests, and thus, the presence of lungwort is often a good indicator of an ecosystem’s health.

A Brief History of Lungwort (more…)

A Powerful Antioxidant That Treats Autism, Diabetes, Bronchitis and Removes Heavy Metals

A metabolite from an amino acid which is classified as both a nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical drug, has been used to treat bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, high cholesterol, diabetes, HIV, autism and even cancer. It assists in the production of glutathione, which plays a key role in regulating many cellular functions and helps keep the immune system in check. Moreover, it helps detox the body chelating dangerous heavy metals.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is converted by the body into an amino acid called cysteine. Proponents claim that taking N-acetylcysteine supplements can protect against a wide range of health problems and the science backs up the claim. (more…)

Cordyceps: A Disease Fighting Fungus.

Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China. Supplement makers are able to get enough of the product to sell, because cordyceps will reproduce in the laboratory. Cordyceps is used to treat coughs, chronic bronchitis, respiratory disorders, kidney disorders, nighttime urination, male sexual problems, anemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, liver disorders, dizziness, weakness, ringing in the ears, unwanted weight loss and opium addiction.


Gasping For Breath

The other day, my office got a frantic call from Jane. The night before she had suffered a frightening bout of breathlessness. You see, Jane had been a pack-a-day smoker for much of her life. And, although she quit more than 10 years ago, she was left with a devastating case of COPD.

Long-time tobacco smokers like Jane have the highest risk of developing COPD, also called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It’s a major cause of disability, affecting at least 12 million people, and the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. (more…)

Natural Treatment for Asthma and COPD

If you have asthma and/or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) you probably spend a lot of time using various inhalers and nebulizers. Many times these contain glucocorticoids (steroids). Some of the major side effects of long term steroid use include: cataracts, osteoporosis, adrenal insufficiency, weight gain with dramatic increase in abdominal fat, Type 2 diabetes and behavioral changes such as extreme anger. Besides steroids, which lessen inflammation in the bronchi and lungs, other inhalers contain drugs which dilate the bronchi allowing more air in. However, in many people, these drugs cause very rapid heart rate, tremors and insomnia. While these drugs may be life saving, there is increasing evidence for natural treatments for asthma and COPD, particularly the natural alternative inhaled glutathione. (more…)

Newly discovered taste buds hold cure for asthma

Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine recently stumbled upon a most unexpected discovery. Taste buds, previously thought to only exist in the mouth, are in fact also present within the lungs. Accidentally uncovered during an unrelated study of human muscle lung receptors, the lung taste buds were also found to play a crucial role in regulating airway contraction and dilation.

Protect Yourself from Emphysema and COPD – and Even Reverse Damage that's Already Been Done

Aside from the fact that, as free citizens of these United States, we should have the right to choose any type of medical treatment we feel is best suited to keeping us healthy, the ongoing threat of los Federales’ taking away access to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy puts women at a significant disadvantage in many other ways too. If you’re a longtime reader of Nutrition & Healing, you already know that, as part of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), estrogen replacement can lower a woman’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive malfunction, protect her against cardiovascular disease, strengthen her bones, and slow down skin aging. But one of the other important benefits of BHRT is something you’ve probably never heard about.  (more…)