Gut-lung axis: Trial supports safety & efficacy of probiotics + herbal blend for lung health

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© magicmine / Getty Images
© magicmine / Getty Images

Related tags gut-lung axis Probiotics microbiome Gut health Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus Lactobacillus acidophilus Turmeric holy basil

Daily supplementation with ResBiotic’s resB Lung Support product formulated with probiotics and an herbal blend may boost lung health in asthmatics, says a new study.

Scientists from ResBiotic Nutrition partnered with Atlantia Clinical Trials Ltd. to explore the effects of their novel supplement resB Lung Support on lung function targeting the gut-lung axis in a 1-month randomized, open-label clinical trial in Cork, Ireland

Results showed that asthmatics experienced significant improvements in lung function, while serum levels of beneficial short chain fatty acid (SCFAs) increased.

“Based on the results of this preliminary clinical study, we propose that this blend may improve lung function and inflammation by supplementing microbes in the gut to increase SCFA production in systemic circulation,” wrote the researchers in Frontiers in Nutrition.


The resB Lung Support product is formulated with a blend of three probiotic strains (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum​ RSB11, Lactobacillus acidophilus​ RSB12, Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus​ RSB13) and three herbal extracts (turmeric, holy basil, and vasaka).

C. Vivek Lal, MD, co-author on the new paper and founder and CEO of ResBiotic, a university startup out of the University of Alabama, told NutraIngredients-USA that proactive respiratory health solutions are of utmost importance in this day and age when consumers are exposed to several lung damaging stimuli such as air pollution, smoke, viruses, lung diseases, and so on.

“This is the first study to demonstrate safety and efficacy of a probiotic and herbal blend for respiratory health, in a clinical trial setting. resB Lung Support is backed by years of robust basic science and clinical science data and the vision of ResBiotic is to disrupt the supplement industry with actual science-backed solutions.

“This study will help bring resB to a much wider consumer audience, who are looking for a science backed, proactive and safe way to improve their respiratory health.”

Gut-lung axis

Asthma is a major cause of disability, poor quality of life world-wide and health resource utilization. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 262 million people suffered from asthma in 2019.

People with respiratory conditions often have gastrointestinal symptoms and show distinct gut microbiomes compared to healthy individuals.  Moreover, alterations in the gut microbial species and metabolites – also known as dysbiosis – have been linked to changes in immune response and inflammation in the lungs.

Dr Lal told us that the gut-lung axis is being studied extensively in respiratory medicine around the world, and the impact of how the gut microbiome communicates with lungs to impact better breathing is being increasingly recognized.

“This study cements the finding of our previous preclinical publications on resB which was published in 2022 in Microorganisms​,” he added.  

Study details

The new open-label, pilot, cohort study included 11 healthy people and 11 asthmatics. All participants received the test product twice daily for four weeks. Each capsule contained 8.25billion CFUs of L. plantarum​ RSB11, 7.9 billion CFUs of L. acidophilus RSB12, 6.4 billion CFUs of L. rhamnosus RSB13, 48 mg of vasaka (Adhatoda vasica​ root) extract, 42 mg of holy basil (Ocimum sanctum​ leaf) extract, and 30 mg of a turmeric (Curcuma longa​ root) extract.

The product was found to be safe and tolerable in asthmatic and healthy participants.

In terms of lung function, this was found to significantly improve in the asthmatics, as measured by Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1%, the amount of air that a person can force out of their lungs in 1 second). No such improvements were observed in the healthy subjects.

In addition, serum SCFA levels increased in the asthmatics, most notably propionic acid. Asthmatic non-smokers also had increases in propionic acid and isovaleric acid, while asthmatic smokers has increased in acetic acid and butyric acid, said the researchers.

“SCFAs are known to affect immune cell function and a variety of inflammatory pathways including TNF-α, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10,” noted the researchers.


“Based on anecdotal consumer data, at least 2-3 months of regimen is needed to see substantial respiratory benefits,” Dr Lal told us. “Nevertheless, there were improvements seen in quality-of-life scores in users, and some functional benefits with just one month of use in this study.

“Overall, these findings are encouraging and pave the path for use of precision probiotics for lung health.”

Dr Lal confirmed that another study of resB​ is ongoing looking at quality of life in customers over three  months.

Source: Frontiers in Nutrition
2023, Volume 10, doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1168582
“Clinical trial of a probiotic and herbal supplement for lung health”
Authors: N.M. Wenger et al.

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