Gut Bacteria: Could a Healthy Gut Mean Healthy Aging? Maybe So! by Mei Marcie
Would a healthy 90-year-old have similar gut microbiota (gut flora) to a 30-year-old? It appears so. A study was conducted by the Lawson Health Research Institute of Western University in Ontario, Canada, with the Tianyi Health Science Institute in Zhenjiang, China. The aim was to analyze the gut microbiota of healthy individuals between the ages of 3 to 100 years, in order to have more clarity on treatment for the sick.
The participants who were selected had no reported disease, did not smoke, consume alcohol nor prescribed any drugs or antibiotics in the three months leading up to the study. They also had no family history of major diseases.
After examining the data, it was found that the gut microbiota of a healthy 90-year-old is not that different from that of a healthy 30-year-old. While causation is not tested, the strong correlation between a healthy gut and healthy elderly may suggest that future medical interventions could look into resetting the elderly microbiota to that of a young adult. The study was published in the journal mSphere.
In our daily life, we can help support a healthy gut by eating a diet high in whole and plant-based foods with an emphasis on prebiotic fiber, probiotic supplements, exercise, sleep, reducing stress and avoiding unnecessary antibiotics. Envisage yourself healthy in old age!
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