Stool Transplant Reverse Aging
These findings suggest that gut bacteria play a role in modulating some of the deleterious effects of aging and open the possibility of gut microbiota-based therapies to combat the decline in later life.
Professor Simon Carding, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School and head of the Gut Microbiology and Health Research Program at the Quadram Institute, said: “This ground-breaking study provides evidence of involvement. direct effect of gut bacteria on aging and impaired brain function, function and vision and offers a potential solution in the form of gut bacteria replacement therapy.”
It has long been known that the microbial population we carry in our gut, collectively known as the gut microbiome, is involved in health. Most diseases involve changes in the type and behavior of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms in an individual’s gut.
Several changes in microbiome composition occur as we age, adversely affecting metabolism and immunity, and this has been linked to age-related disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, along with cardiovascular, autoimmune, metabolic, and neurodegenerative disorders.
To better understand the impact of these changes on the microbiome in old age, scientists from the Quadram Institute transferred gut bacteria from old mice to healthy young mice and vice versa. They then looked at how this inflammation affects signs of aging in the gut, brain and eyes, which decline in function in later life.
The study, published in the journal Microbiome, showed that the microbiota from old donors lost the integrity of the intestinal lining, allowing bacterial products to enter the circulatory system, leading to an increased intestinal tract size. immune system activation and inflammation in the brain and eyes.
Chronic age-related inflammation, known as inflammation, is associated with the activation of specific immune cells found in the brain. These cells were also overactivated in young mice transplanted with the perennial microorganism.
In the eyes, the team also found specific proteins associated with retinal degeneration were elevated in young mice that received microbiomes from aged donors.
In aged mice, these deleterious changes in the gut, eyes and brain could be reversed by transplanting the gut microbiota from young mice.
In ongoing studies, the team is now working to understand how long these positive effects may last, and to identify the beneficial components of the young donor microbiome and how they may be affected. effects on organs distant from the intestines.
Faeces help reverse the aging process
The microbiota of young and old mice transplanted with the young microbiota were enriched with beneficial bacteria that have been previously associated with good health in both mice and humans.
The researchers also analyzed the products these bacteria make by breaking down elements in our diets. This revealed significant changes in lipid (fat) and specific vitamin metabolism, which may be related to the changes seen in inflammatory cells in the eyes and brain.
Similar pathways exist in humans, and the human gut microbiome also changes significantly in later life, but the researchers are cautious about extrapolating their results directly to humans. until similar studies in the elderly can be performed.
A new facility for microbial replacement therapy (MRT), also known as Fecal Microbial Transplantation (FMT) is under construction at the Quadram Institute that will facilitate such trials. , as well as other tests for conditions related to the microbiome.
Lead author of the study, Dr Aimee Parker from the Quadram Institute said: “We were delighted to discover that by altering the gut microbiome of elderly people, we could come to the rescue. indicators of age-related decline commonly seen in degenerative eye and brain conditions.
“We hope that our findings will make a final contribution to understanding how we can manipulate our diet and gut bacteria to maximize good health in later life.” .”
The research was funded by the Biosciences and Biotechnology Research Council, part of the UK Research and Innovation Foundation.