Does Asthma Start in Your Gut?
Asthma attacks can feel terrifying – whether you’re struggling to take a breath or watching your child gasp for air. This frightening condition causes horrible symptoms:
- Chest pain and tightness
- Severe trouble breathing
- Endless coughing
- Extreme exhaustion
- Panic and anxiety
Even medication can’t completely stop asthma attacks – that’s why everyone with asthma carries a rescue inhaler. But scientists are beginning to realize that there may be a way to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks… and possibly even prevent them from ever happening.
It turns out that the microbiome – the trillions of good and bad bacteria in your body – has an enormous effect on asthma (check out the research here). And when the microbiome is out of balance (known as dysbiosis), asthma can be much worse.
BUT...when the microbiome gets restored to a healthy balance, you can actually breathe easier! Read on to learn more...
What Happens in an Asthma Attack
Dozens of triggers can set off immune system and provoke asthma attacks. The most common triggers include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust mites
- Pet hair
- Colds and other respiratory infections
- Cold, dry air
- Emotional or physical stress
- Perfumes and other strong odors
- Chemical fumes (from things like cleaning products)
Those irritants set off a wild overreaction in your immune system. Special cells from your immune system travel to your lungs and react in a way that is and far out of proportion to what’s really going on. They cause inflammation and mucus overproduction in your lungs, tightening your airway. That can lead to wheezing, coughing, and so much difficulty breathing that you may feel like you’re drowning.
If you suffer from asthma, you never know when your immune system will go haywire and attack. But there is something you can do to retrain your immune system and make your asthma much easier to deal with.
The key lives in your gut…
How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Lungs
What happens in your gut doesn’t stay there. The bacteria in your gut microbiome actually affects the rest of your body, and that includes your lungs. In fact, your gut and your lungs are in constant contact through the gut-lung axis.
Your gut microbiome plays an enormous part in how your immune system functions, and that includes system over-reactions that can cause allergies and asthma. When dysbiosis sets in, and there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria (probiotics), your immune system can’t work the right way. But new research has found that gut dysbiosis could lead to chronic lung inflammation disorders – especially asthma.
Gut Dysbiosis Makes Asthma Symptoms Worse
It’s not just an idea: An imbalanced gut microbiome has a substantial negative impact on asthma attacks.
Scientists conducted a pilot study to see exactly how the gut microbiome affected asthma symptoms in patients. They analyzed fecal samples of 24 asthma patients and 8 people without asthma… and their findings were life-changing (and a little gross).
The asthma patients had very different gut bacteria than the healthy subjects. People with asthma had less diversity (fewer different strains of gut bacteria) and many more pathogenic bacteria. And the patients with the worst dysbiosis also had the worst lung function.
How Probiotics Boost Lung Function
All of the bacteria – good and bad – produce metabolites when they eat. All of those metabolites travel throughout your body…including your lungs. (see the research)
Spore probiotics - like Just Thrive Probiotic - actually produce beneficial metabolites including:
- Essential B vitamins and vitamin K-2
- Powerful antioxidants, like astaxanthin and lycopene
- Helpful short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), like butyrate and propionate
These metabolites help improve lung function and reduce airway inflammation (more on that in a second). When you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria in your microbiome (dysbiosis), your body won’t have enough SCFAs to protect your lungs. (read the study)
Bad bacteria (pathogens) produce harmful metabolites, like compounds that cause inflammation and immune system overreactions. So when your gut microbiome has more pathogens than probiotics, it sets the stage for more problems with your lungs. That leads to more trouble breathing, wheezing, and coughing fits.
And when you increase the probiotic population and decrease the pathogens in your gut microbiome with spore probiotics, it can have a very positive effect on your lung function.
SCFAs Calm Airway Inflammation and Prevent Asthma
Short chain fatty acids – especially butyrate and propionate – help keep inflammation under control, and that includes the airway inflammation that can make it feel like your lungs are closed off. That’s because SCFAs calm down the immune system cells responsible for runaway inflammation.
Spore probiotics and good bacteria in your gut microbiome produce these SCFAs, as long as you feed them plenty of prebiotic fiber. (read more on that here) Consuming more dietary fiber leads to higher levels of SCFAs and more protection against asthma attacks. When you have plentiful supplies of SCFAs in your system, your immune system gets better instructions about when to mobilize and when to relax.
Studies show that butyrate (one of the main SCFAs produced by spore probiotics) reduce lung inflammation and mucus production in the lungs. Those actions can dramatically reduce the severity of asthma attacks… or even keep them from happening. Scientists have found that children with higher levels of SCFAs butyrate and propionate in their systems are less likely to ever develop allergies and asthma.
And producing healthy SCFAs is just one way a healthy microbiome helps protect against terrifying asthma attacks…
Astaxanthin Helps Treat Asthma
Astaxanthin is a vibrantly colored antioxidant (it’s what makes salmon pink) created by certain spore probiotics and other beneficial gut bacteria. Along with its strong antioxidant powers, astaxanthin also has a remarkable calming effect on asthma.
In one animal study, scientists learned that giving astaxanthin to mice with asthma:
- Improved airflow
- Increased lung capacity
- Calmed immune overreactions
- Reduced lung scarring (fibrosis)
- Decreased airway inflammation
So rebalancing your microbiome with spore probiotics helps make sure your system has plenty of fresh astaxanthin on hand.
Plus, good gut bacteria produce astaxanthin right in your intestines, making it incredibly easy for your body to absorb and use quickly.
Just Thrive Spore Probiotics Help Calm Your Immune System and Your Lungs
The four clinically studied spore probiotics in Just Thrive work together to restore a beneficial balance in your microbiome. And when your gut microbiome has a healthy balance, it helps support your lung microbiome tostay healthier, too.
Plus, the unique combination of spore probiotics in Just Thrive supplies your immune system with healthy short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate and powerful antioxidants like astaxanthin.
Try Just Thrive today to get your gut – and your lungs – back in balance.