Women over the age of 45 can reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) through regular doses of vitamin E, research has suggested.
Scientists at Cornell University and Brigham and Women's Hospital found the vitamin cut the chances of contracting COPD by around 10%, regardless of whether or not a person was a smoker.
Spokeswoman, Anne Hermetet Agler, said: "As lung disease develops, damage occurs to sensitive tissues through several proposed processes, including inflammation and damage from free radicals.
"Vitamin E may protect the lung against such damage."
Although fewer women taking vitamin E developed COPD, Ms Agler noted the supplements appeared to have no effect on asthma, where women on viatmin E were diagnosed at around the same rate as those taking a placebo.
The results of the study will be presented at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.