According to experts, it can take 10 years or more before a smoker’s body can totally heal and go back to being healthy, but a recent study on TIME says that taking vitamin E may help speed up the process.

Associate professor of human nutrition Richard Bruno and his colleagues from Ohio State University worked with “30 smokers in their 20s who smoked at least a pack a day of cigarettes for a year" and asked them to kick the habit for a week. Of the group, 16 participants were given 500 mg of vitamin E supplements every day.

In order to see the effects of the supplement, researchers looked for signs of inflammation in the participants’ blood. They also checked for healthy vascular function, which is the ability of blood vessels to dilate.

The results showed that quitting for a week increased the participants’ vascular function by 2.8 percent, but those who took the supplements enjoyed an additional increase of 1.5 percent. This comes as good news as it has been proven that for every one percent increase in vascular function, the risk of developing cardiovascular conditions drops by 13 percent.

Bruno explains, “Vitamin E is regarded as a very effective antioxidant that protects against damage to fats in the body. Smokers are well-known to have oxidation of those fats in the body and based on prior studies, vitamin E has been touted as a nutrient that can help mitigate that damage.”

(Photo by zack Mccarthy via Flickr Creative Commons)

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