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What is the secret to healthy ageing? (Health and Nutrition)

18/10/2017

What is the secret to healthy ageing? A balanced diet? Staying active? Non smokers? Or a healthy gut?

Researchers at the Lawson Health Research Institute of Western University in Ontario, Canada [1] analysed the gut microbes of over 1000 participants ages between 3 and 100 years old to investigate the changes in our gut microbiota as we age. 

The participants were selected based on their extreme health in that they had no medical concerns, had no significant family history of inherited disease, were non smokers, did not consumer alcohol and had not been prescribed antibiotics in the last 3 months.

The findings revealed that the guts microbes of healthy seniors was similar to the gut microbes in healthy 30 year olds. Also, the gut microbiota composition seemed to vary before the age of 20, whereas between the age of 30 and 100, the microbiota was largely the same. Finally, the gut microbes in men appeared to vary more than that of womens.

These results may help us to improve healthy ageing by using food and probiotics to target biomarkers of health.

This begs the question, "is healthy ageing a result of staying active and eating healthily, or is a healthy gut the key to healthy ageing?"

Either way, this study has found a strong correlation between healthy ageing and a healthy gut.

[1] http://msphere.asm.org/content/2/5/e00327-17

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