Health & Fitness

New Research Into B Vitamins And Smog Damage

A recent scientific study by the National Academy of Sciences in the USA suggests that taking a combination of B vitamins could help protect your DNA from the harmful effects of air pollution and smog damage.

The research lead by Dr Jia Zhong, from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in the US, found that taking a mix of vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid could help ‘completely counteract‘ the effect of a very fine particulate matter present in ‘smog’ and other pollutants on epigenetic modification of DNA.

How Does Smog Damage Our Health?

In cities such as Beijing, Hong-Kong and Bangkok, air pollution has reached a crisis point. Studies have noted that cases of asthma and bronchial infections are on the rise in recent years.

Amongst the most harmful particulate matter is PM2.5. This is a complex of polluting gases from diesel and other pollutants. Traces of PM 2.5 in the lungs can lead to respiratory issues and heart problems over periods of prolonged exposure.

Researchers found that taking the combination of B vitamins consistently for a four week period reduced, and in some cases reversed, genetic damage caused by exposure to PM2.5 by up to 76 per cent.

Over 90% of the global population lives in an area where air pollution exceeds safety guidelines, according to the World Health Organization. According to the WHO, less than 10mcg of PM2.5 per cubic metre is a ‘healthy’ level of sedentary exposure; on one day in 2016 levels in Beijing exceeded 647mcg.

Why Use A Vitamin B Supplement?

B vitamins have a range of benefits on our health. They have been shown to:
  • Support our heart and brain
  • Condition our hair, skin, and nails
  • Maintain our energy levels
  • Reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue

National Academy Of Sciences, 2016. B Vitamins Attenuate The Epigenetic Effects Of Ambient Fine Particles In A Pilot Human Intervention Trial <>

Katie Lambert

Katie Lambert

Writer and expert

After studying History at The University of Leeds, Katie moved back to her home town of Manchester to start a career in content writing. Katie has a passion for health and fitness and enjoys running in her spare time. Her favourite topics to write about include healthy recipes, performance strategies and general wellbeing.