The increasingly polluted air we breathe impacts the healthy functioning of our gut. Why does this matter? Because gut health is linked to all sorts of health dynamics in our bodies. Air pollution takes a heavy toll on gut bacteria, raising the risks of obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and other chronic illnesses.
Reducing the pollutants in the air you breathe through a high-quality air purifier reduces the strain on your gut health, which could improve the overall health of your body.
Curious how all of this works? Read on.
Air Pollution and the Microbiome
Multiple studies have delineated a correlation between the health of the gut microbiome and exposure to pollutants in the air. While the adverse effects of air pollution on cardiovascular and respiratory health have long been known, emerging evidence supports the fact that poor air quality also negatively affects gut health.
Of the known pollutants in the air, the gastrointestinal tract is notably affected by particulate matter (PM) in the air. Every day, 1012–1014 particles are ingested by a typical individual in the western world.
Ingested particulate matter (eaten or inhaled) is a key factor that elevates the adverse effects of air pollution on gut health.
Air Pollution and Gut Microbiota
Exposure to pollutants in the air, specifically particulate matter, alters the composition of gut microbiota. This increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, and other chronic illnesses.
When exposed to pollutants such as particulate matter, the intestines become more permeable.
Increased permeability has been tied to intestinal inflammation, which is linked to developing a wide range of intestinal diseases and disorders. This, combined with the altered gut microbiota, increases the likelihood of intestinal diseases such as Crohn's and celiac.
Air Pollution & Your Gastrointestinal Health
Urban airborne particulate matter is commonly ingested via contaminated air or food. Under both normal and inflammatory intestinal conditions, this contaminated air or food can alter the gut microbiome and immune function.
Air pollution specifically has significant effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Long-term exposure to higher concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter has been linked to an increased risk of early-onset Crohn's disease and other intestinal conditions.
Can Poor Air Quality Cause Stomach Problems?
Studies have found an association between exposure to air pollution and a range of gastrointestinal diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), appendicitis, and enteric infections in infants.
A different composition of the gut microbiome is associated with exposure to air pollution, and an altered gut microbiome is tied to the onset of gastrointestinal diseases.
What Does Dirty Air Do to Your Body?
Dirty air does more than just damage your gut. In addition to the adverse effects of air pollution on gut health, breathing greenhouse gasses and airborne particulate matter have a wide range of poor health outcomes.
Breathing dirty air has been linked to respiratory problems including asthma and lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and heart attack, nervous system impairment including stroke and seizures, reproductive effects including infertility and cancer in women, and urinary system effects including liver and kidney damage and urinary and bladder cancer.
Air pollutants can live in both indoor and outdoor air.
The six primary sources of air pollutants include building materials, household cleaners, heaters and cooking appliances, HVAC systems, tobacco products, and outdoor air pollution. Poor indoor air quality can have immediate and long-term effects, ranging from headaches and asthma to respiratory diseases and cancer.
On the other hand, outdoor air pollution causes an estimated 3 million deaths worldwide each year, ranking it one of the world's most common causes of death.
How Dirty Air Could Be Affecting Your Gut Health
While much of our gut health is determined by diet, emerging research supports that our gut microbiome can change throughout our lives due to exposure to dirty air from air pollution. This is bad news for humans as countries continue industrializing and worsening air quality worldwide.
Increased exposure to dirty air is linked to developing inflammatory intestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Both diseases are based on an immune system improperly functioning, which starts attacking itself and causing gut inflammation.
This immune response is triggered by exposure to particulate matter in the air, also known as air pollution.
Ultrafine particles of particulate matter can reach the intestine through inhalation and diffusion, causing inflammation in the intestinal tract.
Reducing Air Pollution Could Improve Gut Health
We know that the gut microbiome is a dynamic environment that can worsen or improve. With the right air purifier, it is possible to reduce particulate matter in indoor air, thus reducing the particulate matter absorbed into the intestinal tract through inhalation.
With the technology of the iAdaptAir®, which includes a HEPA filter, carbon filter, silver ion filter, UV light, and Bi-Polar® ionization, the air purifier will filter the particulate matter as small as PM2.5 particles multiple times per hour.
Inhalation of particulate matter into the intestinal tract causes intestinal inflammation, leading to intestinal disorders such as IBC or Crohn’s and increasing the likelihood of obesity and diabetes.
Reducing particulate matter in your indoor environment can improve gut health.
Happy Gut, Happy Life: Find an Air Purifier for Your Home
Air pollutants have far-reaching impacts on our health. The health of the gut has been directly linked to exposure and ingestion of particulate matter in the air. We also know that gut health is connected to several serious health conditions, including diabetes, Crohn's, obesity, etc.