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Vitamin B may reduce the harmful effects of smog

Your mum was right. Eat your greens

In the near-constant battle against the smog, a new study has suggested that a good serving of B vitamins can help fight the adverse effects of air pollution.

Most of us know that PM2.5 (the tiny particulate matter commonly found in smog) is bad for our health. The fantastic documentary Under The Dome is essential viewing for anyone wanting to understand the issue. A new study led by Dr Jia Zhong of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has found that a combination of three B vitamins – folic acid, B6 and B12 – could strengthen our self-defence mechanisms and repair cells that have been damaged by PM2.5.

What to do? Get those vitamins! In addition to being an immune system booster, they help in maintaining healthy skin and energy levels. Leafy green vegetables are a good vitamin B source, beans are rich in folic acid, B6 can be found in fish, potatoes and bananas (starchy vegetables) and B12 in soy products and milk.

Before you go filling up your medicine cabinet with pills, the scientists involved wouldn't advise taking a large dosage of B vitamin supplements without a doctor's recommendation. You're best off just making sure you eat plenty of those vitamin B-rich foods. In other words, eat your greens!


By Kong Tin Jun

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