Daniela Polag: COVID-19-vaccination affects breath CH4 dynamics

Daniela Polag, Institute of Earth Sciences Heidelberg University Heidelberg Germany 

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Abstract: 

Methane (CH4) is well known as a component in the exhaled breath of humans. It has been assumed for a long time that formation of CH4 in humans occurs exclusively by anaerobic microbial activity in the gastrointestinal tract. However, recent studies challenge this view by showing that CH4 might also be produced endogenously in cells by oxidative-reductive stress reactions. Generally, vaccines generate a strong immune response including the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. To evaluate the effect from current vaccines against COVID-19 on breath CH4 dynamics, breath CH4 was monitored from around ten subjects prior and after the injection of several COVID-vaccines. The majority of the subjects showed a strong response in breath CH4 release 4-24 hours after vaccination including peak values varying by a factor of up to ±100 compared to the base values. Thus, it is highly likely that observed breath CH4 variations are coupled to immune responses due to Covid-19 vaccination. These preliminary results strongly support the hypothesis that non-microbial methane liberation and utilisation in the human body might be also linked to cellular processes and stress responses independent of classical methanogenesis.

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