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Research: Obesity-related gut damage may worsen asthma symptoms

ANI | Updated: Nov 15, 2022 21:09 IST

Nottingham [UK], November 15 (ANI): According to research that will be presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual meeting in Harrogate, changes in gut function brought on by weight gain are connected to an increase in the severity of asthma.
According to the study, gaining weight is significantly associated with greater levels of inflammation, symptoms of gut permeability, and less effective asthma management. These results not only point to weight loss as a potential treatment option for patients with severe asthma symptoms but also highlight the stomach as a potential additional therapeutic target for enhancing asthma control in obese patients.
It has been demonstrated in the past that gaining weight changes the makeup of the bacteria in the gut, which may increase gut permeability. A "leaky gut" can let dangerous germs into the bloodstream, causing inflammatory reactions all across the body.
Chronic inflammatory diseases like asthma are known to worsen in people who are obese. Although it is common, poorly managed asthma can cause major side effects like exhaustion, lung infections, and a higher risk of really severe asthma attacks, which can be fatal. No previous research has been done to determine how increased gut permeability may impact asthma control.
At Nottingham Trent University, Cristina Parenti and colleagues looked at the symptoms of 98 individuals with severe asthma and the correlation between body weight and gut permeability. Using the Asthma Control Questionnaire-6, patients with a lean-to-obese body mass index (BMI) reported their symptoms. Asthma-related inflammatory indicators and markers of gut permeability (lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LPB) and calprotectin) were assessed in blood tests (granzyme-A, IL-5, IL-6, CCL-4). LBP levels were considerably greater in patients with poorly managed asthma, and they rose with increasing body weight. Increased levels of inflammatory markers linked to asthma are also connected with rising LBP concentrations.
Lead investigator, Cristina Parenti, commented, "We have found a significant link between gut permeability, being overweight and poor asthma control, particularly in people with obesity. This suggests that dietary interventions to improve gut barrier function may be an effective, alternative treatment target for asthma patients who are overweight or have obesity."
Only a small number of individuals with severe, uncontrolled asthma were included in the current investigation. The team now intends to enlist more participants in the study, investigate the outcomes in individuals with well-controlled asthma across a range of BMIs, and investigate whether focusing on the gut can help asthma control in afflicted individuals.
Cristina Parenti concluded, "Our initial findings show that increased gut permeability is likely to be a factor in worsening asthma symptoms in patients with obesity, so it will be interesting to look at whether dietary interventions can improve symptoms for these patients." (ANI)