The more scientists look at the bacteria in the gut, the more important it is to our overall health. New research links the development of a specific type of gut microbiome with longer lifespan and healthier old age.
In a study of more than 9,000 people in three different populations, the new study found that as we age, our gut microbiota becomes more unique and personalized for us, and core bacteria (such as Bacteroides) Also tends to decrease.
This pattern also seems to be related to physical health and longevity. Therefore, the microbiome does not continue to change with age, and people whose core bacteria have not decreased are often not as healthy or have a long life.
Tomasz Wilmanski, a biochemist at the Institute of Systems Biology (ISB), said: “This unique feature can predict the survival of patients in recent decades.”
“Interestingly, this unique pattern seems to begin in the middle age of 40 to 50 years and is related to clear blood metabolomics characteristics, which suggests that these microbiome changes may not only diagnose healthy aging, but may also have It helps with age, which is directly related to health.”
It is worth noting that even if the microbiota is designed differently in old age, the metabolic functions they perform in each person are the same-researchers have found that certain microbes are related to the longevity of humans (and various animals) in the gut , The microbiota of these microorganisms becomes healthy with healthy development. pattern.
As Wilmanski points out, the question remains whether these changes in the composition of the microbiome actually promote health or just reflect health, but scientists say this is certainly worthy of further research, and it adds some clarity to the research field. The results of research are not always clear.
For example, the discovery of metabolites called indole was previously associated with reducing inflammation in the intestines of mice-chronic inflammation is one of the health problems known to increase the risk of death in the elderly.
Microbiologist Sean Gibbons said: “Previous results from studies on the age of the microbiome seem to be inconsistent. Some reports show that the core gut genus of centenarians has declined, while other reports show that the microbiome does not remain relatively stable until age-related decline in health Stable.” From ISB.
“Our work is the first detailed analysis of health and survival, which may resolve these contradictions.”
Although the study generally covers people between 18 and 101 years old, specific groups are between 78 and 98 years old, which allows researchers to carefully study the link between the microbiota and mortality.
We know that the biggest change experienced by the mixing of intestinal bacteria is the beginning and end of life. This latest study supports the idea that the evolving mixture of abdominal bacteria later in life is a good sign: indicating that the body is still vigorous in later life. status.
This research shows that a healthy gut microbiome-whatever it is-may look different at different stages of life, which is a useful way for future research. It seems that our microbiota can develop in different ways in the elderly, and some of them may develop healthier than others.
ISB’s bioengineer Nathan Price said: “This exciting work, we believe it will have great clinical significance for monitoring and changing the health of the gut microbiome throughout the entire human life.”
The research has been published in Natural metabolism.