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Target intestinal bacteria balance in your thirties

The bacterial conditions in the intestines are the key for longevity!
Projects aiming at longevity progress on a global scale

The relationship between intestinal bacteria and longevity has been a popular topic of conversation. In some countries, the intestinal microbiota from long-lived people with the age of over 100 is studied as a model of people with healthy long life.

Here are some examples of those researches. An Italian research team has conducted a test with 69 subjects. They examined the intestinal microbiota contained in the feces of the elderly group with the age of over 100 and the younger group. They reported that a lot of Akkermansia, Bifidobacteria, and Christensenellaceae which are related to health were found in the intestines of people living longer than 105 years old. These bacteria have gained people’s attention due to the fact that Akkermansia has anti-inflammatory effects, Bifidobacteria can balance intestinal conditions, and Christensenellaceae can inhibit body weight gain.

The study was conducted in China with 168 subjects. They were divided into 3 groups: a group with the age of 90 or older, another with middle-aged people and one with younger people for comparison. As a result, the types of bacteria in the group with long-lived people were common to the types that were found in the intestines of the subjects over 105 years old in the previously mentioned Italian research. In particular, the bacteria associated with the production of short- chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to our health, were found in the intestines of people with long life.

Another Chinese research team analyzed the intestinal microbiota of more than 1000 healthy subjects with an age bracket ranging from 3 to over 100. As a result, healthy people that are over 100 years old showed an intestinal microbiota similar to the people in their 30’s.

We cannot say that these test results from the Italian and Chinese researches are exactly the same because the diets and living environments of the subjects are different. However, it was common in both researches that the subjects with long life have showed high diversity in their intestinal bacteria. Many recent studies have suggested that a reduction of the diversity in intestinal bacteria is found when they examined the intestinal microbiota of patients with various diseases. In other words, the types and numbers of bacteria living in their intestines have decreased.

Healthy long-life people have an active life, diversified meals & living environment

The study conducted in American in 2012 compared the intestinal microbiota of elderly people between groups of different living environments. As a result, the elderly people who live independently in the community showed high diversity in their intestinal bacteria and the scores reflect the nutritional state, immunity state, and mental state were good.

On the other hand, the elderly people who stay in a day hospital for a short or a long period of time showed strong intestinal inflammation and their cognitive functions show poor marks. Unlike the elderly people who live independently, they lost the diversity of the intestinal microbiota which in turn caused a frailer health, the reduction of muscle mass, and the deterioration of their mental activities.

On the basis of a survey about meals, a strong relationship was found between living environments and the content of meals. The survey suggested that a healthy diet containing many different foods can produce the diversity of intestinal microbiota. This means that although people seem to be healthy, if the content of their meal lost its balance due to a solitary life style or similar reasons, their intestinal conditions will be disturbed and there will be a possibility that the speed of degradation of their health with aging may become faster. The meal that consist of many different kinds of food but in a small volumes with one ingredient such as a Japanese-style meal is beneficial to keep the diversity in the intestines.

Credit to: Muneaki Takahata Ph.,D.


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