Research suggests that a chemical compound called CDDO-imidazole may protect against lung damage caused by cigarette smoke, Bloomberg reported Dec. 22.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, led by Shyam Biswal, tested the effect of the compound on mice exposed to cigarette smoke and found that it increased production of antioxidants that prevent lung tissue from deteriorating. It also decreased swelling.
The researchers plan to see if the compound can reverse lung damage resulting from emphysema, which is most commonly caused by cigarette smoke exposure.
“[CDDO-imidazole] would be most beneficial to patients who have mild or moderate disease,” Biswal said.
The findings were published in the Jan. 6, 2009 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.