The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are 1.1 billion smokers worldwide. The death toll from lung cancer is 1.8 million. Lung cancer is typically brought on by years of smoking. Smokers are approximately 30 times more vulnerable than nonsmokers. Quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells naturally.
Quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells
Cigarette smoking may lead to cardiovascular disease or increase the risk of lung cancer, among other health problems. In a study published in the journal Nature, a team of researchers revealed that the lungs can reverse cell damage, with ex-smokers having nearly normal profiles even if they smoked for 30 or more years.
If you smoke, your lungs could sustain severe damage. The harm increases with the number of years smoked. However, there is still hope—your lungs can heal. Once you stop smoking,
How quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells?
Quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells in the following ways:-
1. Health Benefits of Quitting smoking
Smoking releases a lot of chemicals. which may lead to damaging your lung cells. Quitting smoking is the first step to naturally allowing your lung cells to repair. Quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells:-
- Once you quit smoking. The level of carbon monoxide starts dropping, which may relieve the symptoms of shortness of breath.
- Smoking can lead to inflammation in your airways and lungs. Quitting smoking can reduce inflammation in your airways and lungs.
- Quitting smoking leads to the healing of damaged cilia (cilia are hair-like projections) in your airways. Healthy cilia again start protecting your body from harmful microorganisms and particles.
- Quitting smoking can improve the overall function of the lungs. Thus improving the circulation of oxygen into the bloodstream. The muscles get the optimum oxygen needed for the metabolic processing of energy- required for normal functioning.
2. Quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells – naturally.
Quitting smoking can naturally heal damaged lung cells. As per a new study, it has been shown that the lungs have the ability to heal and regrow damaged cells caused by cigarette smoking. Thus, you give your lungs a chance to heal naturally by quitting smoking.
It is never too late to quit smoking
According to a study published in “Nature,” it is stated that once a smoker quits smoking, the body replaces the damaged lung cells with healthy cells from the reservoir of healthy cells in the body.
As per the senior author, Peter Campbell– the study can be very helpful for smokers willing to quit smoking. “What is so exciting about our study is that it shows that it is never too late to quit”.
Smokers who used to smoke heavily, he said.“But within a few years of quitting many of the cells lining their airways showed no evidence of damage from tobacco”.
People who quit smoking had four times more healthy cells in comparison to people who continued smoking, irrespective of age or duration of smoking.
Dr. Peter Campbell, from the Wellcome Sanger Institute.Said:
“People who have smoked heavily for 30, 40, or more years often say to me that it’s too late to stop smoking – the damage is already done,”
He further said:
“What is so exciting about our study is that it shows that it’s never too late to quit – some of the people in our study had smoked more than 15,000 packs of cigarettes over their life, but within a few years of quitting many of the cells lining their airways showed no evidence of damage from tobacco,”
It is never too late to quit smoking. However, in a few cases, smoking may cause serious long-term health problems- that may be incurable. Smoking may increase the risk of developing various chronic lung diseases like- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. Emphysema causes damage to the lung tissue responsible for the exchange of gases. It leads to shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli. Alveoli are the basic functional units of the respiratory system. Thus quitting smoking is vital to lower the risk of long terms damage- And the step should be taken as soon as possible.
Campbell said the damaged cells had not been able to “magically repair themselves. Rather they are replaced by healthy cells that have escaped the damage from cigarette smoke”. He further said, “Once the person quits smoking, the cells gradually proliferate from safe harbor to replace the damaged cells”.
Quitting smoking may lower the risk of lung cancer.
The smoke from tobacco contains chemicals- that are carcinogenic. These chemicals damage the DNA in lung cells. Which leads to mutations. Previously it was considered these mutations are permanent. But the new study findings have revealed that the cells that have escaped damage can repair the lungs.
The normal aging process leads to genetic changes in the cells of the body. These mutations are harmless and called- passenger mutations. But certain mutations in the wrong gene in wrong cells can “dramatically change the behavior of the cells and instruct them to behave more like a cancer’ Campbell said.
During the study, it was found that smoking persons have up to 90% of mutations, including mutations that can lead to cancer. But the persons who have stopped smoking have their damaged cells got replaced with healthy cells- like persons who have never smoked. Persons who have quit smoking have up to 40% healthy cells in comparison to persons still smoking.
The study suggests that- quitting smoking can stop further damage to the lungs and allow new, healthy cells to actively repair the airway lining, which can lower the risk of lung cancer.
Gerd P Pfeifer, professor at the Van Andel Institute’s Center for Epigenetics, praised the study and said, “It has shed light on how the protective effect of smoking cessation plays out at the molecular level in human lung tissue,”
Thus quitting smoking can heal damaged lung cells. It is suggested to quit the habit of smoking and allow your lungs to heal naturally. For treatment, please consult your healthcare provider.
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