The effect of dietary components on inflammatory lung diseases - a literature review

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Nov;68(7):771-787. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2017.1288199. Epub 2017 Feb 14.


Anti-inflammatory treatment in chronic inflammatory lung diseases usually involves glucocorticosteroids. With patients suffering from serious side effects or becoming resistant, specific nutrients, that are suggested to positively influence disease progression, can be considered as new treatment options. The dietary inflammatory index is used to calculate effects of dietary components on inflammation and lung function to identify most potent dietary components, based on 162 articles. The positive effects of n-3 PUFAs and vitamin E on lung function can at least partially be explained by their anti-inflammatory effect. Many other dietary components showed only small or no effects on inflammation and/or lung function, although the number of weighted studies was often too small for a reliable assessment. Optimal beneficial dietary elements might reduce the required amounts of anti-inflammatory treatments, thereby decreasing both side effects and development of resistance as to improve quality of life of patients suffering from chronic inflammatory lung diseases.

Keywords: COPD; Chronic inflammatory lung diseases; anti-inflammatory nutrition; asthma; glucocorticosteroid resistance; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*