(Health News) Regular readers have long known that healthy gut bacteria is the key to better health overall, but a new study finds that it also helps protect you against virtually any age-related disease or condition.
Even better: You can improve your gut bacteria by simply changing your diet.
Researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands, found that imbalanced gut bacteria is very likely to blame for a number of age-related diseases. The scientists found that poorly-balanced gut bacteria in older mice is responsible for “inflammaging” in younger mice after it was transplanted into them.
Inflammaging is a condition where there is chronic inflammation, which is common in aging, and it is linked to most all serious age-related health conditions like dementia, cardiovascular disease and strokes, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported recently.
The news site added:
Scientists know that elderly people tend to have different gut bacteria profiles from younger people. This new research suggests that this change in balance is linked to inflammaging, which is in turn related to most late-onset diseases and disorders.
In recent years, we’ve found out that the gut is at the heart of just about everything, with many calling our second brain.
Inflammaging is a general term for a tendency among older people to have generalized inflammatory conditions. Researchers believe that the inflamed condition is linked to changes in the body’s immune system as we grow older. (Related: Healthy gut bacteria help prevent age-related diseases.)
So far research has not made clear whether or not getting older actually causes inflammation or whether inflammation causes us to age.
Since researchers knew that the bacterial microbiome also changes as our bodies age, the team, which was led by Dr. Floris Fransen, sought to examine the relationship between the three factors.
Taking samples from the older mice — whose gut bacteria changes with age as it does in humans — they placed them in younger mice and, after the procedure, the latter developed chronic inflammation which resembled the inflammaging that normally takes place later in life.
In addition, researchers also put gut bacteria from a group of younger mice into a separate group of mice of similar age, in order to gauge whether the immune response was directly tied to the transplanting of foreign bacteria.
The team found that only mice with transplanted gut bacteria from older mice developed the condition of inflammaging.
Researchers from previous studies know that when bad bacteria proliferates, it makes the lining of the gut much more susceptible to toxins that can in turn leak into the bloodstream and lead to inflammation in the bowels, obesity, anxiety, autism, diabetes and even cancer.
“The study suggests a causal relationship between aged gut bacteria and inflammaging in mice, and, though the same has not been proven in humans, the researchers report that a correlation has already been observed,” the Daily Mail reported.
Fransen said that his team’s research reinforced the belief that developing a better diet and taking probiotics worked to “reduce inflammaging and promote healthy aging.”
The new research contributes to existing research proving that healthy gut bacteria is beneficial to the body.
In September 2016, Natural News reported that “new study out of Washington University in St. Louis has found that maintaining healthy and balanced gut bacteria — that is, the beneficial microbes that naturally populate your intestinal tract — may help prevent weight gain and actually fight obesity, which now plagues more than one-third of all Americans.”
The following year, Natural News reported that health gut flora helped prevent metabolic disorder, improve digestive health, strengthen immunity and more.
“According to the American Heart Association, the disorder typically surfaces when a “cluster of metabolic risk factors” — high triglyceride levels, abdominal obesity, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and high fasting glucose readings — occur together,” we reported.