Transplanting the fecal microbiota from a young mouse into an old mouse appears to “restore” some of the mouse’s abilities and reverse some aging deficits.
100 trillion micro-organisms live in our digestive system. The viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that make up our microbiome affect our health, including immune and neurological functions. A new study published in Nature Aging suggests that this microbiome could be an important therapeutic target to promote healthy aging.
This finding is based on the transplantation of the fecal microbiota. The donors were mice aged 3 to 4 months or 19 to 20 months, and the recipients were systematically aged 19 to 20 months. The effect was only seen when the fecal microbiota of young mice was used. The authors write that they “reversed age-related differences” in some aspects of immunity, but also reduced age-related cognitive impairment.
“Previous studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays an important role in aging and the aging process,” says study co-author John Cryan. This new study may be a breakthrough, as we have discovered that the microbiome can also be used to prevent age-related brain decline. We are also seeing evidence of improved learning abilities and cognitive function.
These findings could have important implications for geriatrics or the prevention of age-related diseases. But, warns John Crean, it is still too early to predict therapeutic applications: “There is still a lot of work to be done to see how these findings could be used in humans.”
Fecal transplantations are already being used to save people from C diff infections which have been until now very hard to treat because of the high resistance of the bacteria to currently available antibiotics. The point is we already know how to scan for healthy donors so implementing these transplants for anti-aging purposes should not be difficult.
Would you consider a fecal transplant from a younger subject to stay young? Please share your thought with the Gilmore Health community in the comment area below!
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