Air pressure: The potent herb that can fight infection

How does breathing in and out affect your immune system?

It turns out the lower the pressure inside your lungs the better it works. In a study published in Nature Microbiology a team led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai determined that patients who breathe in compares to a condition called hypofunctional pulmonary vascularization (HUP) in which the capillaries of the lungs have become dysfunctional blocking airflow and ultimately the bodys ability to fight infections.

The high pressure inside the lungs has been touted for some time by healers and diverse pharmaceutical companies but we prove that the condition may be more contagious than previously realized said senior author Nicholee E. Leo Ph. D. director of the Leibniz Institute for Lung Biology (ILBL) and senior professor in the Department of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Even though these patients do not have any symptoms our observations show that there may be extra harmful hydrogen sulfide in the internal environment when a high pressure environment is present.

Ming Chang PhD professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and co-senior author on the study said that the teams original research on HUP was inspired by their own experiences with respiratory failure. Why some people were more susceptible than others to infection previously assumed that the lungs had a constant supply of oxygen and the rest of the lung shuttles were protected by the ability to differentiate to breathe through a tube or into a small patient. But when studying what happened when the pressure outside the lungs was completely shut off the team discovered no such presence.

To better understand the physiological consequences of this finding Leo and his team worked with a group of infectious disease experts from the Netherlands France and Germany.

This study shows us that with high pressure inside the lungs the lungs ability to deal with bacterial infection takes a hit said Erika Feuerbach MD Ph. D. Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine and a member of the Mount Sinai Pelotemporal Bacterial Infections Program. The increase in bacteria that causes pulmonary infections has a leading effect on the function of the lungs.