The diversity of the intestinal microflora may be the secret to a healthy life in old age

As shown by research conducted by immunologists at the Institute of Babraham in Cambridge, transplantation of faeces from young mice to the old can stimulate the intestinal microflora and revitalize the intestinal immune system. Research on this topic was published in the journal Nature Communications. The intestine is one of the organs most susceptible to aging and age-related changes in the intestinal microflora occur in parallel with the decrease in the function of the intestinal immune system.

However, until now it was unknown whether these changes among themselves.

The secrets to a healthy and long life are hidden in the stomach

“The microflora of our intestines is made up of hundreds of different types of bacteria and are essential to our health, play a role in metabolism, brain function and immune response,” explains lead researcher Dr. Maurice Steegh. “Our immune system constantly interacts with bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. As immunologists studying why our immune system fails to cope with aging, we wondered whether the composition of the microflora to influence the strength of the immune response of the intestine”.

Bringing together young and old mice (mice usually like to try fecal balls of other mice) or directly transferring feces from young to older mice, the researchers saw that the immune system of the intestine in older mice increased, partly adjusting to the loss of function associated with age.

“To our surprise, living together rescued a weakened immune response of the intestine in old mice. If you look at the number of activated immune cells from old mice was discovered the immune response of the intestine, are almost indistinguishable from those of younger mice,” said Michelle Linterman, head of the group.

The results show that poor intestinal immune response is not irreversible and that the response can be enhanced by encouraging the appropriate stimuli and incentives. In fact, you can pay the clock of the intestinal immune system to make it more similar to a younger version of me.

All this confirms the relationship between the effects of aging of the immune system and age-related changes in the gut microflora. Also, this study shows that fecal transplants, probiotics, cohabitation and diet can contribute to healthy aging.

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