A fecal microbiota transplant to stay young

THE ESSENTIAL

  • The microbiota is mainly located in the small intestine and large intestine.
  • According to Inserm, antibiotic treatment reduces the quality and quantity of the microbiota over several days to several weeks.

There are about a thousand different species in the microbiota, but mostly bacteria also viruses, parasites and fungi. This part of the intestine – also called intestinal flora – affects a large part of the body, such as the immune system, the brain, the cardiovascular system or the skeletal system. But the gut microbiota may also play a role in aging. In fact, according to a recent study published in the journal microbiometransplanting fecal microbiota from young mice to old mice may slow down certain signs of aging in the eyes, gut and brain.

A technique already used for certain pathologies

Fecal microbiota transplantation is a technique that is already well known in the scientific world. It consists of taking a sample of normal microbiota from the faeces (i.e. solid human excrement) of healthy donors to implant in a sick person. “For example, this treatment is very effective – and now routinely used – to treat diarrhea in patients who have a recurring infection Clostridioides difficile”, To explain I’National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Entry).

Transplanting fecal microbiome from old mice to young mice accelerates aging

In this new study, the scientists also showed that transplanting fecal microbiota from old mice to young mice would accelerate their aging. More precisely, this phenomenon would rather affect the intestinal mucosa of rodents, but also the immune cells of the brain and the specific proteins associated with ocular degeneration. By altering the gut microbiota of older adults, we were able to salvage indicators of an age-related decline commonly seen in degenerative eye and brain diseases‘ the authors of the study explain.

A well-established link between microbiota and aging

In their study, the researchers therefore clearly established a connection between advanced aging and the microbiota. And this is not the first time this has happened. In January 2021 in a study published in the journal natural metabolismthe researchers believed that the microbiota could influence healthy aging and increased life expectancy. Changes in the microbiome are not only diagnostic of healthy aging, but also have a direct impact on health (individuals) as we age”, Tomasz Wilmanski said at the timeResearchers at the Institute for Systems Biology and leader of the study.

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