The link between gut bacteria and human health continues to be elucidated in various ways. A new study has not only highlighted the correlation between gut bacteria and anti-aging, but has experimentally demonstrated that ageing characteristics of the brain, gut and eyes may even be reversed with fecal transplants.
Scientists from the Quadram Institute in the UK and the University of East Anglia have published their latest paper in the journal Microbiome. In this study, the researchers found that gut bacteria can affect brain health through inflammation, as well as the gut itself and the eyes, and showed how these microbial communities affect certain biomarkers of aging.
In this experiment, the researchers transplanted feces from healthy young mice into old mice and found signs of reversing aging in the gut, eyes and brain.
In reverse experiments, microbiota from older mice disrupted the integrity of the gut lining of younger recipients, allowing bacterial products to enter the circulation, causing inflammation of the immune system, brain and eye, and causing retinal degeneration associated with elevated levels of specific proteins.
These findings suggest that gut microbes play a role in controlling some of the deleterious effects of aging, and lead to the possibility of gut microbe-based therapies to counteract decline in later life.
Dr Aimee Parker, lead author of the paper, said: “By altering the gut microbiota of older adults, age-related markers of decline commonly seen in degenerative diseases of the eye and brain can be rescued. The findings provide additional evidence that gut microbiota In fact, some previous studies have shown that the composition of the microbial
community in the gut is affecting many different aspects of our health. And it is known that the gut microbiome changes dramatically with age.
Back in 2019, a study published in the journal Cell showed that the gut is a source of immune cells that reduce brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis, providing interesting insights into the field of brain science therapeutics. A 2020 study then showed that fecal transplants from older mice could lead to learning and memory impairments.
A 2021 study published in Nature Aging provides the first insight into how gut bacteria affect mammalian brain aging. The study focused on brain aging and showed that transplanting feces from young mice into older mice reversed some aspects of age-related brain degeneration, such as learning ability and long-term memory.
In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that changes in the gut microbiome occur with age and have adverse effects on metabolism and immunity. Inflammatory bowel disease in particular is also considered to be closely related to cardiovascular, autoimmune, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
It is reported that the research team is currently continuing further research work to determine how long these positive effects of the gut microbiota of young donors can last, and to further explore which microorganisms have the positive effects, and what are they? How it affects organs other than the gut. Following this, future studies with human subjects are also planned.
These findings will ultimately help understand and learn how to control our diet and gut bacteria to maximize health later in life, and offer potential solutions for gut microbiome replacement therapy, the researchers say.