Fecal transplantation rejuvenates brain capacity in guinea pigs

  • John Cryan
  • The Conversation*

mouse in maze

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Studies in mice show that the microbiome is important for a healthy brain in old age

In 1895, on his 50th birthday, Elie Metchnikoff became increasingly anxious about aging.

As a result, the Nobel Prize-winning Russian scientist and one of the founders of immunology shifted his attention from immunology to gerontology—a term he coined.

He was fascinated by the role that intestinal bacteria play in health and disease—and suggested that people in parts of Eastern Europe lived longer because they consumed various fermented foods containing lactic acid bacteria.

Though popular at the time, this theory linking gut microbes to healthy aging was largely ignored by scientists until relatively recently.