Obesity and asthma are two chronic conditions that affect millions of people. Genetic and lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and early exposure to micro-organisms are important factors that may contribute to the escalating prevalence of both conditions. The prevalence of asthma is higher in obese individuals. Recently, two major phenotypes of asthma with obesity have been described: one phenotype of early-onset asthma that is aggravated by obesity, and a second phenotype of later-onset asthma that predominantly affects women. Systemic inflammation and mechanical effect, both due to the expansion of the adipose tissue, have been proposed as the main reasons for the association between obesity and asthma. However, the mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood. Moreover, it has also been suggested that insulin resistance syndrome can have a role in the association between these conditions. The intestinal microbiota is an important factor in the development of the immune system, and can be considered a link between obesity and asthma. In the obese state, higher lipopolysaccharide (LPS) serum levels as a consequence of a microbiota dysbiosis have been found. In addition, changes in microbiota composition result in a modification of carbohydrate fermentation capacity, therefore modifying short chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels. The main objective of this review is to summarize the principal findings that link obesity and asthma.
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