How Dirty Air Affects Your Gut

Skyline photo of factories spewing polluted air from their chimneys

The increasingly polluted air we breathe impacts many natural functions of the human body. Aside from adverse health effects posed by air pollution exposure, air pollutants have been found to negatively impact 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.  

Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of exposure to air pollutants by using a high-quality air purifier in your home. Air purifiers can filter out the air pollutants that pose a significant strain on your gut bacteria. They can also work to reduce poor air quality, protect overall respiratory health, and address everyday air pollution indoors.

Curious how air pollution and dirty air can affect gut bacteria? Read on to learn more.

Air Pollutants and the Gut Microbiome

Multiple studies have delineated a correlation between the health of the gut microbiome and air pollution exposure. 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. 

Air pollution exposure poses the risk of damage to gut barrier integrity, which plays a crucial role in immune system response. Food, chemicals, and other compounds -- including compounds linked to poor air quality -- have been found to diminish gut barrier integrity, causing increased gut permeability.

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 Composition

Exposure to all the pollutants in the air, specifically particulate matter, alters the composition of gut microbiota. This increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, 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 the development of a wide range of intestinal diseases and gastrointestinal disorders. This, combined with the altered gut bacteria and microbiota, increases the likelihood of intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease and celiac.

Exposure to 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. 

What Type of Air Pollution Impacts Gut Health?

Air pollutants can live in both indoor and outdoor air. Many types of air pollution impact the immune system, the gut, and overall health. But where does air pollution come from? How can you identify and prevent your exposure to air pollution to minimize the risk of disease burden?

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 remains one of the world's leading causes of death, with an estimated 3 million deaths worldwide each year in developed and developing countries.

How Dirty Air Quality Could Be Affecting Your Gut Health

While much of our gut health is determined by diet and lifestyle, 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 to industrialize and worsen their air quality over time.

Increased exposure to dirty air is linked to developing inflammatory intestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease. 

The above diseases are based on an immune system improperly functioning. The immune system begins attacking itself, which causes gut inflammation. 

This immune response is triggered by exposure to toxins including 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

Now that we've reviewed how air pollution can impact gut barrier integrity and overall health, you might be wondering: is there a way to prevent these gut issues while also improving respiratory health?

Fortunately, lifestyle precautions and modern technology can help combat the effects of all the pollutants in the air.

Reducing Air Pollution Could Improve Gut Health

We know that the gut microbiome is a dynamic environment that can worsen or improve in response to internal and external factors. Gut bacteria are a large ecosystem that needs to be kept in balance, and air quality can throw these gut bacteria out of balance when rife with toxins.

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 air pollution inhalation. 

iAdaptAir Technology: Purifying Air Pollution to Protect You and Your Gut

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 IBS or Crohn’s disease and increasing the likelihood of obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and other health consequences. 

Reducing particulate matter in your indoor environment can improve gut health. The less harmful air pollutants you inhale every day, the safer and healthier your gut bacteria will be in the long run.

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 disease, obesity, and more.

Investing in a quality air purifier has countless positive effects on your health, including protecting against ingested pollution in your gut. Shop the Air Oasis purifiers today to breathe easier about your indoor air and your overall health for years to come.

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