Posted on Aug 15, 2018, 8 p.m.
Transplanted gut bacteria from older mice into younger mice was noted to age related chronic inflammation dubbed as inflammaging linked to conditions associated with older age such as dementia and stroke, as published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
Inflammaging is low grade chronic inflammation linked to life threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease. This study shows gut bacteria from older mice induced age related chronic inflammation after being transplanted into young mice. Findings bring hope of potential simple strategies to contribute to healthy aging as composition of gut bacteria is partially controlled by diet.
Elderly tend to have different composition of gut bacteria, as well as compromised immune responses resulting in inflammaging which scientists set out to investigate potential links of. Gut microbiota was transferred from old and young conventional mice to young germ free mice to analyse responses from the spleen, lymph nodes, and small intestine as well as whole genome gene expression analysis of the small intestine. Results showed immune responses to bacteria transferred from the old mice only, suggesting imbalance of bacterial composition in the gut may be cause of elderly inflammaging. Dysbiosis of gut bacteria leads to bad bacteria becoming more dominant than good and overgrowth of bad can make gut lining become more permeable allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream to travel around the body causing various negative effects. This dysbiosis can cause serious health implications and several disorders including IBD, cancer, diabetes, obesity, autism, and anxiety.
Maintaining healthy gut microbiota has been shown to be important to healthy body and ageing, why gut microbiota is different among the elderly is not clear, it may be due to combinations of several factors such as antibiotics, changes in diet, reduced physical activity, and as part of a natural process. Most age related disease can be linked to inflammaging.
Limitations of the study included being due to it being conducted in mice, but due to similarities to humans and correlation between altered gut microbiota composition and inflammaging it can be used to point to hints that maintaining healthy gut microbiota is key to healthy lifestyle and aging; however more research is required to confirm the human body mirrors these results.
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“Aged Gut Microbiota Contributes to Systemical Inflammaging after Transfer to Germ-Free Mice” by Floris Fransen, Adriaan A. van Beek, Theo Borghuis, Sahar El Aidy, Floor Hugenholtz, Christa van der Gaast – de Jongh, Huub F. J. Savelkoul, Marien I. De Jonge, Mark V. Boekschoten, Hauke Smidt, Marijke M. Faas, and Paul de Vos in Frontiers in Immunology.