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Gut health promotes healthy aging – Getintegrativehealth | Bellmore NY

Author: Kristine Blanche
by Kristine Blanche
Posted: Mar 20, 2020
micro biome

Ageing is accompanied by deterioration of multiple bodily functions and inflammation, which collectively contribute to frailty. We and others have shown that frailty co-varies with alterations in the gut micro biota in a manner accelerated by consumption of a restricted diversity diet. The Mediterranean diet (Med Diet) is associated with health.

As our global population is projected to live longer than ever before, it’s important that we find ways of helping people live healthier for longer. Exercise and diet are often cited as the best ways of maintaining good health well into our twilight years. But recently, research has also started to look at the role our gut – specifically our micro biome – plays in how we age.

Our latest Functional Medicine NYC study has found that eating a Mediterranean diet causes micro biome changes linked to improvements in cognitive function and memory, immunity and bone strength.

The gut micro biome is a complex community of trillions of microbes that live semi-permanently in the intestines. These microbes have co-evolved with humans and other animals to break down dietary ingredients such as insulin, arabinoxylan and resistant starch that the person can’t digest. They also help prevent disease-causing bacteria from growing.

However, the gut micro biome is extremely sensitive, and many things including diet, the medications you take, your genetics, and even conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, can all change the gut micro biota community. The gut micro biota plays such a huge role in our body; it’s even linked to behavioral changes, including anxiety and depression. But as for other micro biome-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, changes in the microbiome are only part of the issue – the person’s genetics and bad lifestyle are major contributing factors.

Many of the participants were also pre-frail (meaning their bone strength and density would start decreasing) at the beginning of the study. We found the group who followed their regular diet became frailer over the course of the one-year study. However, those that followed the Mediterranean diet were less frail.

A major objective of the NU-AGE dietary intervention was reduction of frailty and inflame-ageing. The study subjects were categorized into Non-Frail (or apparently healthy), Pre-Frail and Frail groups based on Fried scores.

Have you read?

  • 5 things you need to know about your micro biome
  • Do micro biomes cause chronic diseases?
  • How the bacteria in your gut are great sensors of your overall well-being

Since our everyday diets have such a big affect on the gut micro biome, our team was curious to see if it can be used to promote healthy ageing. We looked at a total of 612 people aged 65-79, from the UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland. We asked half of them to change their normal diet to a Mediterranean diet for a full year. This involved eating more vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, olive oil and fish, and eating less red meat, dairy products and saturated fats. The other half of participants stuck to their usual diet.

Mediterranean micro biome

We initially found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had better cognitive function and memory, less inflammation, and better bone strength. However, what we really wanted to know was whether or not the micro biome was involved in these changes.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, a person’s baseline micro biome (the species and number of microbes they had living in their gut before the study started) varied by country. This baseline micro biome is likely a reflection of the diet they usually ate, alongside where they lived. We found that participants who followed the Mediterranean diet had a small but insignificant change in their micro biome diversity – meaning there was only a slight increase in the overall number and variety of species present.

However, when we compared how strictly a person followed the diet with their baseline micro biome data and their micro biome after following the diet, we were able to identify two different gut microbe groups: diet-positive microbes that increased on the Mediterranean diet, and diet-negative microbes whose abundance was reduced while following the diet.

Diet-positive microbes are microbes that flourished in the Mediterranean diet. Diet-negative microbes either couldn’t metabolize the diet, or they were unable to compete with diet-positive microbes. These diet-positive microbes were linked with less frailty and inflammation in the body, and higher levels of cognitive function. Losing the diet-negative microbes was also associated with the same health improvements.

When we compared the changes in the number of these microbes in the treatment group (those on the Mediterranean diet) and the control group (those following their regular diet), we saw that the people who strictly followed the Mediterranean diet increased these diet-positive microbes. Although the changes were small, these finding were consistent across all five countries – and small changes in one year can make for big effects in the longer term.

Many of the participants were also pre-frail (meaning their bone strength and density would start decreasing) at the beginning of the study. We found the group who followed their regular diet became frailer over the course of the one-year study. However, those that followed the Mediterranean diet were less frail.

The link between frailty, inflammation, and cognitive function, to changes in the micro biome was stronger than the link between these measures and dietary changes. This suggests that the diet alone wasn’t enough to improve these three markers therefore Detoxification and Liver cleanse is also important. Rather, the micro biome had to change too – and the diet caused these changes to the micro biome.

These types of studies are challenging and expensive, and the micro biome data set is often difficult to analyses because there are many more data-points to study than there are people in the study. Our findings here were possible because of the large group sizes, and the length of the intervention.

However, we recognize that following a Mediterranean diet isn’t necessarily doable for everybody who starts thinking about ageing, usually around the age of 50. Future studies will need to focus on what key ingredients in a Mediterranean diet were responsible for these positive micro biome changes. But in the meantime, it’s clear that the more you can stick to a Mediterranean diet, the higher your levels of good bacteria linked to healthy ageing will be.

Some new knowledge about the potential benefits of Mediterranean diet, more information will likely be available at our Health Advisor Dr Kristine Blanche or visit us at www.getintegrativehealth.com

About the Author

Thermography Solutions NY – One of the best solutions of your full body and Breast thermography services provider in New York, Nyc. www.thermographysolutionsny.com

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Author: Kristine Blanche

Kristine Blanche

Member since: Dec 27, 2017
Published articles: 11

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