The nicotine in cigarettes is a potent chemical that negatively affects the systems of the body and how they function. One of the functions that nicotine affects is the body’s ability to use vitamins on a daily basis. This nicotine not only drain the body of vitamins, but it also block the absorption of these essential nutrients.
What effect does smoking have on the nutrients? Which nutrients suffer the most?
Vitamin C: Smoking literally sucks the vitamin C from your body’s tissues. Whereas vitamin C is an antioxidant, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are oxidants. So instead of bonding with free radicals in the body and fighting them, it bonds with the chemicals from the smoke.
Studies found that smoking one cigarette is same as lost 25mg of vitamin C. The more you smoke, the more vitamin C you lose from your tissues and blood. Therefore smokers need a much higher level of vitamin C. Generally, a smoker needs to increase their vitamin C intake to around 2000mg a day. If this can’t be achieved by diet alone, so a supplement is needed.
Vitamin D: People who smoke also tend to have 50% greater incidence of poor vitamin D levels than non-smokers. Deficiencies in vitamin D may lead to brittle bones or osteoporosis.
If I smoke, are there any changes I can make to reduce the impact?
If you smoke, then you have to consume more nutritious foods than non-smokers. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and begin a regular exercise routine. These steps are important, but the best way to fully protect your body from the damage caused by smoking is to quit!
Read also: 9 Best Tips To Help You Quit Smoking