Elderly men diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease appear to have less severe symptoms when their diet is healthier, say Korean researchers.

The investigators found that men ages 60 and older were significantly more likely to have less severe airway impairment when they consumed increased amounts of certain nutrients. These included fiber, protein, carbohydrate, vitamin C, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, according to Jehun Kim and colleagues from Kosin University.

The link between increased nutrient consumption and decreased airway impairment was not observed in female study participants, Kim added.

The findings may underscore “the importance of appropriate nutrient intake in relieving airway inflammation and supporting energy production,” the investigators concluded.

Data was culled from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Results were published in the Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.