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Posted on Wednesday Sep 30, 2020 at 11:59PM in General

Gut Health Linked to Air Quality, Unprecedented Study Shows

Most studies into gut health focus on the diet, but could the air we breathe upset our stomachs too? That is the conclusion of a new study out of the University of Colorado, Boulder. Researchers say poor air quality can have an adverse effect on the human microbiome and ultimately worsen gut health.

The study in the journal Environment International is the first-of-its-kind to connect gut health with air quality.

“We know from previous research that air pollutants can have a whole host of adverse health effects,” says senior author Tanya Alderete in university release.

Alderete adds that those previous studies tie the effects of smog to Type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and weight gain. “The takeaway from this paper is that some of those effects might be due to changes in the gut,” she says.

The Colorado team says the infamous “brown cloud” in Denver also consists of ozone and other harmful materials. California, Texas, Illinois, Connecticut, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin have been penalized for their high levels of ozone concentration. According to study authors, air pollution kills 8.8 million people globally each year; more than wars and smoking combined.

The air you breathe can alter your body.

“A lot of work still needs to be done,” concludes Alderete, “but this adds to a growing body of literature showing that human exposure to air pollution can have lasting, harmful effects on human health.”

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