Are Gut Bacteria the Key to Healthy Aging?
An increasing number of recent studies are asking an important question: Do gut bacteria hold the key to healthy aging? New research, recently presented at the London Microbiome Meeting, brings us closer to the answer.
In the ancient myth of Tithonus, the eponymous protagonist asks the gods to live forever but forgets to demand eternal youth.
Although he gained immortality, the diseases of old age eventually defeat Tithonus, and he bitterly regrets his immortality.
While achieving longevity is a goal worth pursuing and an ambition that humankind has harbored since the times of Ancient Greece, the myth of Tithonus reminds us that a long life has little value if riddled with disease…
Anti-Aging Benefits of Probiotics
A balanced gut microbiome teeming with probiotics is essential for healthy aging. Here’s how the good guy microbes can keep you feeling in your prime:
1. Protect brain cell health. Research shows that probiotics can promote the growth of new brain cells, especially after antibiotic use. In one trial, mice given antibiotics that indiscriminately wiped out all of their beneficial bacteria showed reduced brain cell growth, but treatment with probiotics was able to reverse the effects 1.
2. Enhance memory and cognitive function. Many people notice a decline in memory retention as they get older, but probiotics can boost your memory at any age. In a research study, volunteers who took probiotics for one month scored higher on memory tests than when they took a placebo 2. And, studies show that subjects who consume probiotics may have an improved connection between the brainstem and the cognition-centered part of the brain
3. Regulate immune health. Aging can have a negative effect on immune function, due to the decreased microbial diversity common in the later years. You see, 80% of your immune system resides in your gut, and your beneficial bacteria help to balance your immune function. Without enough good microbes, your immune system may be suppressed or overstimulated, affecting your overall health…
The Composition of Gut Bacteria Almost Recovers After Antibiotics
The trillions of bacteria in the human gut affect our health in multiple ways, including effects on immune functions and metabolism. A rich and diverse gut microbiota is considered to promote health, providing the human host with many competences to prevent chronic diseases. In contrast, poor diversity of the gut ecosystem is a characteristic feature of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, asthma, and gut inflammatory disorders…
Can Borrowing Younger Gut Microbes Reverse Aging?
Can the gut microbes of young people make older people feel younger and live longer? Researchers found that the profile of your microbiome (the ecosystem of microorganisms in your gut) changes as you age. Read on to find out why reversing aging and restoring vitality in fish might matter for humans…
How will Microbiome Research Revolutionize Public Health?
New technologies have revolutionized the way we see and understand the human microbiome: the approximately 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes that live in and on the human body. Most of these microbes do not cause disease—indeed, humans rely on these organisms to perform vital functions. In the coming decades, clarifying the many roles of the microbiome will dramatically reshape medicine and public health. Curtis Huttenhower, associate professor of computational biology and bioinformatics, describes the changes ahead.
The biggest advance in studying the microbiome is that genetic sequencing has become cheap. And there are now other molecular technologies that complement DNA sequencing, like looking at microbial small molecules or having easy, high-throughput ways to get a variety of different microbial community samples, to grow or isolate microbes. Everybody’s strain of every bug is a little different…