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Following regular headlines about the damage air pollution has on our health, we increasingly want to avoid sources of pollution if we can. Although we can reduce our risk by wearing masks etc, we cannot fully prevent inhalation for example, especially if we have to live and work in an area where the pollutant is present.

Fine dust pollution is often referred to as ‘particulates’. These particulates vary in size and can be made of anything from chimney soot, diesel particulates, brake, tyre or cement dust and volcanic minerals.

Both short- and long-term exposure to fine dust air pollution has been linked to various cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases included thing like coronary artery disease, arrythmias, strokes and heart attacks. Air pollution damage doesn’t stop at the lungs, any matter small enough can absorb through the lung tissue into the blood vessels. When the cells that line the blood vessels are damaged they are not able to divide anymore to make healthy cells. This is called cell senescence and it becomes a risk factor for developing a cardiovascular disease. Recent evidence suggests that fine dust induces premature cell senescence in blood vessels, thus increasing the stress on the existing cells lining the blood vessels.

There have been multiple studies of different vitamins and botanical in combatting air pollution damage and a study from 2020 looked at the effect of hop extracts and their components eg Xanthohumol, on fine dust damage. Xanthohumol+ has a number of therapeutic health benefits including its ability to act as an antioxidant.* Antioxidants are vital to protect the immune system. They work to slow down and prevent damage to our body’s cells caused by free radicals (unstable molecules in our body caused by a variety of stress and lifestyle factors). Xanthohumol protects cells from oxidation and induces mental and physical wellbeing* which may also factor in supporting a healthy immune system.

In the initial study of cells, hop extracts and the active components such as xanthohumol protected against fine dust induced blood vessel senescence. The scientists felt that this was most likely via the antioxidant activity. Further studies are planned as hop extracts could be a potential therapeutic agent for preventing and/or treating air-pollution-associated cardiovascular diseases.

Altruvita Xanthohumol+ costs as little as 37p a day based on a 12 month subscription.

* EU EFSA ARTICLE 13.1 BOTANICALS ON HOLD LIST.