70 Natural Substances That Mitigate the Effects of Tobacco Smoke

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The adverse effects of smoking tobacco are well known. Here are 70 natural substances proven to alleviate or improve tobacco effects

Much research has been done to determine the adverse effects of tobacco and nicotine. However, recent research studies have focused their efforts on discovering natural substances that might attenuate or reverse the effects of cigarette and tobacco use.

Here are nine natural and common substances with proven benefits for tobacco smokers, for starters, with an additional 61 to follow:

  1. Vitamin C

In one study, vitamin C supplementation reduced rates of childhood asthma when taken orally by pregnant smokers. The study estimated that a simple increase in vitamin C during pregnancy among smokers could prevent 1,637 cases of pediatric asthma per birth cohort.[i]

Additionally, oxidative stress caused by cigarette smoking impairs coronary microcirculatory function (small vessels with diameters below 300µm), but vitamin C was shown to restore this function in several studies.[ii],[iii]

  1. Vitamin E

A well-researched antioxidant, vitamin E showed stronger antioxidant defense mechanisms than garlic juice (another strong antioxidant) in a study involving rats treated with nicotine.[iv] In another study, long-term supplementation of vitamin E reduced oxidative stress biomarkers in male cigarette smokers' urine.[v]

Other studies have indicated that vitamin E supplementation could reduce prostate cancer incidence rates in smokers, although more research is required to verify these findings.[vi]

  1. Noni

An ancient Polynesian healing remedy, noni fruit has long been esteemed for its diverse therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects. Additionally, noni fruit extract and juice seem to reduce cancer risk in heavy smokers by reducing aromatic DNA adducts, a portion of DNA linked with a cancer-causing chemical.[vii],[viii]

Because these chemical bonds can be the start of DNA mutation and replication, stopping the formation of adducts reduces the likelihood of cancer formation. Thanks to its potent antioxidant effects, noni also improves oxidative stress levels and lowered total cholesterol and LDL levels in heavy smokers after just four weeks of daily noni consumption.[ix]

  1. Curcumin

A well-known natural compound in the world of functional medicine, curcumin has significant benefits for heavy smokers, including improving and protecting the liver.[x] Nicotine is metabolized in the liver and impacts liver weight and enzyme levels, so protecting this organ from damage is essential for tobacco users.[xi]

Additional data indicate that curcumin may protect against nicotine-induced neurocognitive impairment, making it a powerful supplement for smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.[xii]

  1. Pomegranate

Lung cancer is one of the most well-known health risks linked to tobacco use and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the U.S.[xiii] In a study conducted at the American University of Beirut, researchers found that pomegranate juice supplementation reduced the incidence of lung cancer among cigarette smokers by preventing the formation of lung nodules and reducing mitotic activity.[xiv]

Pomegranate juice may have higher antioxidant potential than both red wine and green tea, two well-established antioxidant substances, and seems to induce apoptosis, making it a potent anti-carcinogenic substance.[xv]

  1. Camu Camu

A tropical, cherry-like fruit native to Peru and Brazil, camu camu has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial in reducing the adverse effects of nicotine and tobacco use. Studies suggest that camu camu may be as potent in antioxidant properties as vitamin C.[xvi]

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Diets high in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, turnip greens and mustard greens may significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer incidence in smokers and non-smokers alike, according to a case-controlled study.[xvii]

While both raw and cooked cruciferous vegetables have cancer-reducing effects, researchers reported that the cancer-reducing effects were stronger when such vegetables were consumed raw.

  1. Onions and Garlic

Onion oil, a potent antioxidant, has been studied for its effects on nicotine-induced tissues. In one study, researchers compared antioxidant effects of onion oil with vitamin E in nicotine-injected rats and found onion oil to be comparable in antioxidant potential with vitamin E.[xviii]

In another study of onion oil and garlic oil extracts, both compounds were found to increase the activities of antioxidant enzymes in rats experiencing oxidative stress caused by nicotine.[xix] Finally, garlic oil seems to restore the glutathione levels and reverse oxidant responses due to nicotine exposure.[xx]

  1. Melatonin

Cellular autophagy is the process by which cells remove dysfunctional cellular components.[xxi],[xxii] While not all autophagy is bad, and in fact can even promote longevity, nicotine-induced autophagy is caused by oxidative stress and can cause devastating effects to the cells.

Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and has antioxidative properties, attenuated nicotine-induced autophagy and restored normal autophagic cellular function.[xxiii] Melatonin also exhibited protective effects against cardiac injuries in newborns whose mothers were exposed to nicotine.[xxiv]

61 Additional Natural Substances That Reduce Tobacco Effects

In addition to these nine natural substance, GreenMedInfo.com has compiled a list of at least 61 other compounds shown to mitigate the effects of tobacco smoke, which include:

  1. Green tea
  1. Vitamin B-12
  1. Arginine
  1. Flavonoids
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids
  1. Turmeric
  1. Vitamin D
  1. Beta-carotene
  1. Quercetin
  1. Astaxanthin
  1. Vitamin E: alpha tocopherol
  1. Barley grass
  1. Biotin
  1. Broccoli sprouts
  1. Catechin
  1. Coffee
  1. Fiber
  1. Fruit
  1. Isoflavones
  1. Isothiocyanates
  1. Lactobacillus plantarum
  1. Licorice
  1. Pine bark extract
  1. Polyphenols
  1. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
  1. Vegetables
  1. NAC (N-acetyl-L-cysteine)
  1. Antioxidant formulas
  1. Dates
  1. Phenethyl isothiocyanate
  1. Sulforaphane
  1. EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate)
  1. Resveratrol
  1. Artichoke
  1. Asiatic acid
  1. Crocin
  1. Cryptoxanthin
  1. Ellagic acid
  1. Fish oil
  1. Ginsenosides
  1. Hydrogen water
  1. Lotus
  1. Moringa oleifera
  1. Myo-inositol
  1. Neem
  1. Nettle
  1. Peach
  1. Rosmarinic acid
  1. Selenium
  1. Spearmint
  1. Spirulina
  1. Zeolite
  1. Coenzyme Q10
  1. Deguelin
  1. Folic Acid
  1. Genistein
  1. Grape seed extract
  1. Parthenolide
  1. Royal jelly
  1. Stilbenes
  1. Tea

For more information about these substances and to learn more about their impact on tobacco smoke health effects, please visit GreenMedInfo.com's smoking research database.


[i] J Perinatol. 2018 Jul;38(7):820-827. doi: 10.1038/s41372-018-0135-6. Epub 2018 May 22

[ii] Am Heart J. 2004 Aug;148(2):300-5.

[iii] Eur Heart J. 2017 Feb 14; 38(7): 478-488.

[iv] Niger J Physiol Sci. 2011 Nov 23;26(1):103-7.

[v] Free Radic Biol Med. 2016 Jun;95:349-56. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.03.010. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

[vi] J Natl Cancer Inst. 1998 Mar 18;90(6):440-6.

[vii] Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(5):634-9. doi: 10.1080/01635580902825605.

[viii] J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2015 Apr; 7(Suppl 1): S197-S199.

[ix] ScientificWorldJournal. 2012; 2012: 594657.

[x] Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Jul 7;588(2-3):151-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.04.023. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

[xi] J Tradit Complement Med. 2016 Apr; 6(2): 176-183

[xii] Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2019 Jan 1;11:109-120.

[xiii] American Cancer Society, Key Statistics for Lung Cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

[xiv] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 6063201.

[xv] Adv Biomed Res. 2014; 3: 100.

[xvi] J Cardiol. 2008 Oct;52(2):127-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jjcc.2008.06.004. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

[xvii] BMC Cancer. 2010; 10: 162.

[xviii] Toxicol Lett. 2000 Jul 27;116(1-2):61-8.

[xix] Vet Hum Toxicol. 1999 Oct;41(5):316-9.

[xx] Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2005 Jun;60(2):77-86.

[xxi] Autophagy. 2009 May;5(4):569-70.

[xxii] PLoS Biol. 2014 Oct; 12(10): e1001967.

[xxiii] Int J Neurosci. 2019 Nov 26:1-7. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2019.1692833.

[xiv] Anadolu Kardiyol Derg. 2008 Aug;8(4):243-8

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

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