Pulmonary Fibrosis - Art Solbr
Natural Remedies

Five Supplements for Pulmonary Fibrosis and IPF

on Jan 09, 2023
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5 Supplements for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is not considered a common disease, but its prevalence may be increasing. The following article from the American Lung Association is very informative in discussing seven important points regarding PF:


Here are some notable quotes from the article :

'In technical terms, fibrosis means thickening or scarring of the tissue. In this case, the normally thin, lacy walls of the air sacs in the lungs are no longer thin and lacy, but get thick, stiff and scarred, also called becoming fibrotic. With this scarring, the architecture of the lung makes it stiffer and is less efficient at delivering oxygen into the blood stream. In addition, the stiffness or fibrosis of the tissue makes it more difficult to expand the lungs. It takes more effort to breathe, and this additional demand of energy or work leads to shortness of breath.'

'Idiopathic(from an unknown cause) Pulmonary Fibrosis or IPF, is considered a rare disease but is more common than we once thought, with up to 207,000 people affected in the United States and about 58,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It is more common in men than women, and mostly affects people over 50 years of age.'

'There is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis. Current treatments are aimed at preventing more lung scarring, relieving symptoms and helping you stay active and healthy. Your doctor may recommend medication, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, a lung transplant and/or lifestyle changes. Treatment cannot fix lung scarring that has already occurred.'

'There are a variety of things you can do to live well with pulmonary fibrosis, including eating nutritious food, staying active, reducing stress and protecting your lungs.'

'Early symptoms consist of chronic dry cough, and as it progresses, shortness of breath with exertion becomes evident. This can lead to a decrease in exercise tolerance and promote a more sedentary lifestyle. This prolonged state of muscle inactivity leads to deconditioning, making the patient more easily fatigued and shortness of breath with similar exertion. Every person who is diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis has a unique experience with the disease. Some people stay in stable condition for years, while others may experience rapidly worsening symptoms and overall health.'

'There are a number of known causes of pulmonary fibrosis. Exposure to toxins like asbestos, coal dust or silica (including workers in the coal mining and sandblasting industry) can lead to pulmonary fibrosis. Certain medications (amiodarone, bleomycin, nitrofurantoin, to name a few) list pulmonary fibrosis as a side-effect. Pulmonary fibrosis can also be a result of chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis as a result of exposure to things in the home or workplace, such as molds. Another common cause of pulmonary fibrosis is a group of diseases known as autoimmune conditions. This would include systemic lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome and others. Pulmonary fibrosis can be hereditary as well. Lastly, there are many cases of pulmonary fibrosis in which a cause cannot be identified and are therefore called "idiopathic" pulmonary fibrosis.'

This article suggests that doctors are fairly limited in terms of the effective practical treatments they have to offer to their patients, and in our current medical system, there are no cures for PF. With such limited options, you can see why many people with PF take a proactive alternative approach to live with their condition or reverse it.

In that line of thinking, I want to discuss five supplements that have shown benefits in animal studies of PF and/or IPF.

Astaxanthin (AST)

The first supplement I would like to discuss is Astaxanthin (AST). I chose this one first because it has an z safety profile at the highest dosage used in human studies of 24 mg/day :


Here is a relevant quote from the study :

'The present study found that astaxanthin attenuated pulmonary fibrosis by blocking the activated fibroblast proliferation and migration, and lncITPF contributed to the antifibrotic mechanism.'

In this subsequent study, it is suggested that AST helps prevent PF :


Here is an important study quote :

'This study revealed that Astaxanthin can prevent pulmonary fibrosis by promoting myofibroblast apoptosis through a Drp1-dependent molecular pathway. Furthermore, Astaxanthin provides a potential therapeutic value in pulmonary fibrosis treatment.'

This quote is important because if you have IPF where the cause is unknown, and you were able to reverse the IPF, AST may prove helpful in preventing a reoccurrence.

Vitamin D

The next supplement with an outstanding safety profile that may be useful for PF and IPF is vitamin D. As most people know, many people are vitamin D deficient or insufficient, and in the following review, it is suggested that this deficiency may be associated with PF:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6949840/#:~:text=The prevalence of Vitamin D,been linked to pulmonary fibrosis.

Here are two important quotes from this review :

' A large number of studies have displayed the prominent role Vitamin D has in fibrosis disease. Vitamin D affects the progress of clotting/coagulation phase, inflammation phase, and fibroblast migration/proliferation/activation phase of pulmonary fibrosis, in many ways, and then plays its antifibrotic role. '

'Nevertheless, the evidence reviewed in this paper indicates a crucial role of Vitamin D in lung fibrosis. '

In this next study, it is further suggested that vitamin D may alleviate IPF:


Here is an important study quote :

' In conclusion, the results of this study suggested that VD3 could reduce the deposition of collagen and extracellular matrix by inhibiting the expression of PSAT1 and the activation of the MAPK pathway in vivo and in vitro, thereby exerting a therapeutic effect in IPF. VD3 may thus be a potential therapeutic agent for the clinical treatment of IPF via targeting PSAT1 expression. '

Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE)

Another popular supplement that has shown multiple anti-PF activities is Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) which also happens to have an outstanding safety profile even at fairly high dosage levels :


Here is an essential quote from the study :

'There is currently no effective clinical drug treatment. It has been reported that grape seed extracts (GSE) have extensive pharmacological effects with minimal toxicity. Although it has been found that GSE can improve the lung collagen deposition and fibrosis pathology induced by bleomycin in rat, its effects on pulmonary function, inflammation, growth factors, matrix metalloproteinases, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition remain to be researched. In the present study, we studied whether GSE provided protection against bleomycin (BLM)-induced mouse pulmonary fibrosis. ICR strain mice were treated with BLM in order to establish pulmonary fibrosis models. GSE was given daily via intragastric administration for three weeks starting at one day after intratracheal instillation. GSE at 50 or 100 mg/kg significantly reduced BLM-induced inflammatory cells infiltration, proinflammatory factor protein expression, and hydroxyproline in lung tissues, and improved pulmonary function in mice. Additionally, treatment with GSE also significantly impaired BLMinduced increases in lung fibrotic marker expression (collagen type I alpha 1 and fibronectin 1) and decreases in an antifibrotic marker (E-cadherin). Further investigation indicated that the possible molecular targets of GSE are matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9) and TGF-b1, given that treatment with GSE significantly prevented BLM-induced increases in MMP-9 and TGF-b1 expression in the lungs. Together, these results suggest that supplementation with GSE may improve the quality of life of lung fibrosis patients by inhibiting MMP-9 and TGF-b1 expression in the lungs. '

In the following 2022 study, they add further confirmation to the benefit of GSPE in PF :


Here is a relevant study quote :

' These findings showed that GSPE attenuated BLM-induced epithelial apoptosis in the mouse lung and A549 alveolar epithelial cell through the inhibition of oxidative stress. Furthermore, GSPE could attenuate mitochondrial-associated cell apoptosis via decreasing the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. The present study demonstrates that GSPE could ameliorate bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice via inhibition of epithelial apoptosis through the inhibition of oxidative stress. '


The next supplement I would like to discuss is Berberine. In the following new abstract of a study (February 2023) Berberine is shown to be beneficial in the fight against PF via multiple mechanisms of action :


Here is an important study quote :

'The results of animal experiments showed that compared with the BLM group, after 14 days of berberine treatment, lung inflammatory cell aggregation was reduced and the expression levels of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-8 and IL-6 were down-regulated in mice (p < 0.05); after 42 days of berberine treatment, the expression levels of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, platelet-derived growth factor-AB (PDGF-AB), hydroxyproline (HYP) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) were significantly down-regulated (p < 0.05), and the expression levels of total p38 MAPKα and p38 MAPKα (pT180/Y182) were down-regulated also (p < 0.05), inhibited collagen production and deposition, and increased the survival rate of mice to 70%. In conclusion, Berberine attenuated inflammation mice, inhibited collagen production and showed some anti-pulmonary fibrosis potential in the MAPK signaling pathway.'

The following study is of very significant importance because it discusses the use of Berberine for PF caused by Covid-19. Yes, you read that correctly, Covid-19, the disease that keeps on giving, can also leave PF in its wake :


Here is the conclusion that they reached in this study :

'Conclusion Berberine acts on TNF-α, STAT3, IL-6, CCL2, and other targets to inhibit inflammation and the activation of fibrocytes to achieve the purpose of treating COVID-19 pneumonia pulmonary fibrosis.'


One of my favorite supplements is MelatoninMelatonin, and given its known methods of action, one of which is antifibrotic activities, you just knew it had to be beneficial as a remedy for PF :


Here is a relevant quote :

' In summary, our data demonstrate that Gal-3 contributes to ROS production during FMD in PF, and its expression is regulated by NRF2; MT could activate NRF2 and efficiently ameliorate BLM-induced PF through suppressing Gal-3 level both in vivo and in vitro. Our study might provide a new potential therapeutic strategy for Gal-3-engaged diseases including PF. '

In this next study, they discuss another cause of lung fibrosis, irradiation of the lungs as might occur in lung cancer patients, and how MelatoninMelatonin may help :


Here is an important quote from the study that clearly illustrates the broad spectrum of positive health effects associated with the use of MelatoninMelatonin against PF :

'The finding showed that the lung irradiation-induced pneumonitis and lung fibrosis. The co-treatment with MelatoninMelatonin could alleviate these compliances through its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Melatonin through upregulation of some enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione, NADPH oxidases 2 and 4, dual oxidases 1 and 2, and also downregulation of malondialdehyde reduced oxidative stress following lung radiation. Moreover, MelatoninMelatonin through its anti-inflammatory effects, can attenuate the increased levels of nuclear factor kappa B, tumor necrosis factor alpha, transforming growth factor beta 1, SMAD2, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-4 receptor-a1 (IL4ra1), and IL-1 beta following lung radiation. The histological damages induced by ionizing radiation were also alleviated by co-treatment with MelatoninMelatonin.'


Because these are animal studies, I can convert the dose used, if given in the study, to a human equivalency, or you can go by dosing used in other human studies for other diseases, which may be a more practical approach.

With Astaxanthin, human studies have gone as high as 24 mg/ day with no significant side effects, and that is the dose I use. I will link to the supplement I use below.

Vitamin D has shown that most people can take up to 5000 iu/day without adverse side effects.

Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract, the supplement I use, recommends 1200 mg/day, and I will link to that below.

As regards Berberine, human studies have shown benefits at 1000 mg to 1500 mg/day in divided doses.

For Melatonin, human studies have shown benefit from half of one milligram, up to 50 mg/night.

Here is a link to the Astaxanthin supplement I use :


Here is a link to the GSPE product that I have used to good effect on myself and others :



With PF and IPF, doctors have limited options at their disposal to offer to their patients, and the disease is considered irreversible in the medical community. The five supplements discussed above have been shown in animal studies to have multiple beneficial health effects against IPF and PF in animal models of the disease. They all have at least a very good safety profile.

Also worth noting is that these five supplements are known for having many other positive health effects. As a basic example, Astaxanthin is also proven in human studies to increase endurance. Anyone with PF or IPF is undoubtedly well aware of how important that might be in dealing with the disease. Here is a link to that article discussing the endurance-improving effects in humans :


Many other supplements may have varying degrees of benefit for IPF and PF. Still, these five are readily available and inexpensive, and all have very good safety profiles and multiple studies to support their consideration for PF and IPF.

In this compilation of studies, different methods of action are mentioned for the five supplements suggesting the potential for synergy among the group as a whole which would be very important and valuable in dealing with PF and IPF.


Have a question for Art? Please ask it here, and he will reply to your post!

About The Author

Art Solbrig is a researcher who has been reading scientific studies and testing natural remedies for over 30 years, searching for useful studies and alternatives that apply positively to human health issues and natural treatments using minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential oils, herbs, homeopathy, colloidal silver, combination treatments, and other alternatives to improve the quality of life of others by writing about his findings and test results in places like Earth Clinic. He documents and writes about many of his experiences in helping others. Art is a native of sunny California.

Related Links:

Natural Remedies to Treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lynde (Pretoria, South Africa) on 01/11/2023
5 out of 5 stars

Good day,

Please look into Lumbrokinase (Earthworm extract) as a possible treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

I think this treatment might help many PF patients.

Replied by Art
1509 posts


The fibrinolytic enzymes like Lumbrokinase, Nattokinase and Serrapeptase/Serratiopeptidase do help with IPF/PF, but they don't work in everybody and do not get close to a level of 100% in people with IPF. The addition of the 5 supplements are likely the best shot at an optimal regimen for PF/IPF in most people.


Here is a relevant quote from the study :

' In a progressive disease such as IPF, a small improvement in scores or even stable scores may indicate that the supplements are exerting beneficial effects. A small number of subjects showed no significant improvement or a worsening of scores as compared to baseline. It is possible that a longer period of supplementation may have been required in these subjects to produce benefits. '

In this study, they used a combination supplement that contained both Nattokinase and Serrapeptase.