Smoking Sabotage: How smoking wrecks your digestion

Smoking is injurious to health, it affects our lung health and can lead to cancer in the long run, is a well-known fact. But have you ever wondered how those puffs impact your gut health? Let’s clear the air and know how smoking impacts your digestive health and its repercussions.

Does smoking impact digestive health?

Yes! First, the smoke damages your taste buds and smell receptors, impacting your ability to enjoy food and potentially affecting appetite. Smoking hinders absorption of essential nutrients like vitamins B12, D, and E, leading to deficiencies. 

Smoking relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscular valve between your stomach and esophagus. This causes stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that is, stomach acid repeatedly flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. smoking weakens the protective lining of your stomach and esophagus, increasing the risk of ulcers. 

Does smoking impact our gut and gut microbiota?

The normal balance of bacteria is crucial for efficient digestion. Smoking harms the diverse community of bacteria living in your gut, crucial for digestion and overall health. When specific bacteria increase due to smoking, it can disrupt this balance, leading to bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.

According to recent studies (2023) smoking increases the abundance of certain bacteria, such as Prevotella spp. and Desulfovibrio spp. 

Impact of Prevotella spp. and Desulfovibrio spp.

Prevotella spp. are often associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease.  It causes swelling of the tissues (inflammation) in your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

Desulfovibrio spp. can produce harmful compounds that contribute to inflammation and damage the gut lining.

Smoking encourages the growth of other harmful bacteria while reducing beneficial ones, leading to not only inflammation and digestive issues but also impacting heart and brain. It also weakens the gut barrier by damaging the tight junctions between gut cells, making your gut "leakier." This allows harmful substances and toxins to enter your bloodstream, triggering inflammation and contributing to various health problems

What is the long term consequence of smoking on the gut?

Indirectly smoking is the cause for many other chronic ailments. A healthy gut microbiome supports a strong immune system. Smoking-induced changes can weaken this support, making you more susceptible to infections. Recent research suggests links between smoking-induced microbiome changes even colorectal cancer, heart disease, and obesity. 

The Good News

Scientists think fixing your gut bacteria might help prevent and treat diseases caused by smoking. Quitting smoking can reverse these harmful effects. Your gut bacteria start to recover within weeks, and the leaky gut barrier repairs itself. This reduces the risk of various digestive problems and improves your overall health. Remember quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your gut and overall health.

You can undo the damage to gut health simply by adding Actifiber Natural Gut Strength to your daily diet to get this Synbiotic Advantage.  The Prebiotic – Nutriose is clinically proven to increase good bacteria, reduce bad bacteria which trigger common frequent infections, improve gut health, support digestive comfort & strengthens immunity. The Probiotic - Bacillus coagulans SNZ1969, helps combat common gut illnesses like diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, gas, stomach ache, vomiting and nausea.
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