Humanity is always looking for the “fountain of youth”, at least some substance that is capable of reversing the effects of aging. Now, according to a study published in the scientific journal Microbiome on April 29, the solution may be a stool transplant.
As the medical content website Medscape shows, transplanting fecal microbiota (bacteria) from young mice to older animals helped reverse the signs of aging in the gut, brain and eyes. Interestingly, when performing the opposite transplant, that is, from the elderly to the young mice, the aging of the younger mice was verified.
According to researcher Simon Carding of the Quadram Institute in the UK, one of the authors of the study, cited by Medscape Medical News, the results provide “tempting evidence for the direct involvement of gut microbes in aging and in the functional decline of brain function and vision and offers a potential solution in the form of gut microbe replacement therapy.”
Fountain of Youth?
Scientists explain that, as we age, changes in the diversity, composition and function of the gut microbiota lead to inflammation in the body, decline in tissue function and an increased risk of age-related chronic diseases.
To understand this relationship, British researchers performed stool transplants between young and old mice, and vice versa.
When younger mice were given the aged microbiota, they showed increased inflammation in the brain and retina, as well as a loss of a protein essential for eye health.
On the other hand, these harmful effects were reversed when the microbiota of young mice was transferred to the aged animals. In addition, there was enrichment of beneficial bacteria in older guinea pigs.
“Our data support the idea that the gut microbiota as it changes in old age contributes to both intestinal and systemic inflammation and, therefore, may contribute to the emergence of inflammatory conditions in aging organs. Understanding the role of the gut-brain axis in aging and modifying microbial composition to modulate immune and metabolic pathways may therefore be a potential avenue for therapeutic approaches to age-associated inflammatory and functional decline. recently.
Despite the encouraging results, researchers are still conducting trials to see how long the beneficial effects of transplanting young stools last, and whether it can promote long-term health benefits in elderly individuals and improve age-associated neurodegeneration and functional deterioration. of the retina.