Worried about everything from climate change to the color of your hair, the length of your jeans and how much damage dirty air is doing to your lungs? We hear you.
If you have a bottle of Aspirin handy, you can now put some of those fears to rest, however.
Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health have found that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which includes aspirin, may decrease the ill effects of air pollution on your lungs.
In fact, if you take NSAIDs in a timely manner, they could as much as halve the effect of ambient particulate matter building up in your chest, this study found.
Researchers analyzed data collected from 2,280 male veterans living in the greater Boston area who were, on average, about 73 years of age.
“Our findings suggest that aspirin and other NSAIDs may protect the lungs from short-term spikes in air pollution,” said lead author author Xu Gao, PhD.. “Of course, it is still important to minimize our exposure to air pollution, which is linked to a host of adverse health effects, from cancer to cardiovascular disease,” he added.
But if you can’t, taking NSAIDs with the consent of your doctor could be a good idea.
Why does it work? Researchers say they aren’t exactly sure why NSAIDs have this great effect on your lung function. Being anti-inflammatories must help they suspect however, as this can help bring down any inflammation brought about by breathing in polluted air.
For more on this study, click here.