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Does the secret to healthy aging lie in the gut?

The connection between chronic inflammation, the aging process and the intestinal microbiome

As the population ages in industrialized nations worldwide, the need for healthcare solutions to reduce the burden of age-related diseases grows. The Prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation represents a particularly promising strategy considering that inflammation is observed in almost every age-related disease. Recent studies suggest that Gut microbiome could play a key role in age-related inflammation.

What defines the human aging process?

In humans, the aging process is a continuous and progressive process that results in reduced physiological function in all organ systems (1). These physiological decreases lead to increased susceptibility to infection and disease (2, 3). Although the causes of age-related diseases are diverse, there is significant evidence linking it to chronic inflammation (4).

What role does the gut microbiome play in age-related inflammation?

There are more and more assumptions that this Gut microbiome could play an essential role in these age-related inflammations. The latest studies suggest that advanced age is associated with... Changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiome is connected, which is connected by one Loss of diversity is marked (5). Diversity refers to the difference in the composition of the intestinal microbiome and shows whether the different types of bacteria occur evenly in the intestine or whether some types of bacteria dominate.

A brief insight into the development of the intestinal microbiome

Microbial colonization of the human intestine begins at birth and immediately thereafter. However, some studies suggest that the process of colonizing the infant with microorganisms begins in the womb (10-17). In any case, it is recognized that the basic microbiome composition during infancy, in particular during the first three years , continues to fluctuate widely until it eventually adapts to a stable structure that resembles the adult gut microbiome (10-18).

The type of birth already plays a role in the development of the intestinal microbiome The type of birth already plays a role in the development of the intestinal microbiome

What influences the development of the intestinal microbiome?

The Bacterial composition is influenced by various components , such as the infant's diet, antibiotic intake, the mother's diet, its intestinal microbiome and the environment (11, 12, 15-17, 19). It has also been reported that vaginally delivered infants have higher colonization of Lactobacilli, Bacteroides, and Prevotella, which are mostly acquired from maternal vaginal and fecal microbiota during birth. Infants born by cesarean section, on the other hand, have delayed or lower intake of Bacteroides, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. (10, 12, 15-17, 19-20)

Microbiome & aging processes

The composition of the intestinal microbiome in adults is more stable than in children. Over time, an intestinal microbiome develops that can independently compensate for changes caused by influences such as stress or antibiotics. Nevertheless, the intestinal microbiome can be influenced to a certain extent, for example through diet and lifestyle.

The frequency of diseases associated with the intestinal microbiome tend to increase with increasing age (21, 22). Even if it remains unclear whether the changes in the intestinal microbiome are a cause or a consequence of the aging process, it turns out that that older people have a different gut microbiome profile compared to healthy adults . This difference could be due to various reasons, such as changes in lifestyle and dietary habits, reduced mobility, or medication use (18, 22-27).

How does the intestinal microbiome change in old people?

In general, the diversity of the gut microbiome and the number of bacteria such as Bacteroides, Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli are found to be reduced (18). Whereas most bacteria that increase with age are known to stimulate inflammation (29). While it is still unknown whether this bacterial imbalance is a cause or a consequence of aging and inflammation, it is Balance the gut microbiome with a healthy aging process connected. Therefore, maintaining or restoring this balance could be beneficial for healthy human longevity. (21, 26, 28).

Given that the gut microbiome has a strong influence on numerous aspects of health and the Since a decrease in diversity is associated with various inflammatory conditions , it seems plausible to also look at one's own health from the perspective of the intestinal microbiome.

Fecal transplants can improve brain health

Learning and remembering decrease significantly with increasing age. This deterioration in learning and memory performance runs parallel to changes in the intestinal microbiome. John Cryan, a neuroscientist at University College Cork, and his colleagues recently published in the journal Nature aging illustrates that microbes transferred from young to old mice cause age-related changes in the immunity and the metabolism in Brain can turn back. The study suggests that the microbiome could be a suitable therapeutic target for treating age-related cognitive decline.

“If the microbiome plays a causal role in brain aging, then we should be able to take the microbiome from young animals, give it to old animals and reverse or mitigate some of the effects of aging.” – John Cryan.

One of the key factors that influence our intestinal microbiome is a varied and fiber-rich diet.
One of the key factors that influence our intestinal microbiome is a varied and fiber-rich diet.

Prevention of age-related health conditions through the gut microbiome

A good starting point to our intestinal microbiome Providing preventative support and counteracting inflammatory processes is ensuring a healthy diet with whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts and seeds. One of the key factors that influence our intestinal microbiome is and remains diet. We know that properly “feeding” our intestinal bacteria with various fibers not only increases microbial diversity, but also increases the production of anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) (30) and the number of bacteria that can produce inflammatory substances. can reduce. SCFAs have been shown to help intestinal cells prevent inflammation in the intestines (31). By the way, we are not only what we eat, but also what we can digest. Find out more about this Digestive potential of your gut microbiome .

“By better understanding the connections between diet, microbiome and health, we can understand how older people can maintain their microbiome and also help them directly by using pre- and probiotic strategies. “This would help us age better and maintain health and quality of life as we age without medication or surgery” . – Marina Ezcurra, Ph.D.

We are excited about further research in this area as we see the potential to make huge breakthroughs in improving the health and quality of life of older people.

With myBioma to a healthy intestinal microbiome until old age

The myBioma microbiome analysis allows you to find out what your microbial composition is like and which bacteria live in your intestines. You receive one Overall picture of your intestinal universe and meaningful insights into how your health is doing. Depending on your results, you will receive dietary recommendations, for example to optimize your diversity and species richness. Learn more!


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Anni Grimm
Anni Grimm
Food-Enthusiast and Marketing Manager
Anni is not only a marketing ace but also deeply rooted in the fields of nutrition and gut health, knowing all the tips and tricks here!