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Microbiome, aging and inflammaging

Aging not only alters organs and tissues but also the microbiota, that is the community of microbes that live in the organism and on its surface. Some changes in this microbial population are lifestyle-dependent; others are instead a consequence of the passing of the years. Acting on them can help you age while staying healthy.

The microbiome analysis makes it possible to identify any alterations of the microbiota by studying its genes and consequently, to develop the most suitable strategies to promote a good health by correcting the imbalances detected.

Aging and alterations of the intestinal microbiota

During aging, the intestinal microbiota undergoes several changes, such as:

  • its ability to ferment carbohydrates decreases;
  • it can ferment proteins better;
  • its diversity is reduced, and some species of microbes increase relative to others.

Examples of gut microbiota bacteria that can change during aging include:

  • Proteobacteria, associated with inflammation (local and systemic)
  • Akkermansia muciniphila, responsible for the degradation of mucin (one of the components of the intestinal barrier)
  • Bifidobacteria, anaerobic bacteria, which exert a range of beneficial effects on health
  • Escherichia coli, a potentially pathogenic bacterium
  • Microbes producing butyrate, a molecule that participates in the regulation of inflammation.

Some of the changes detectable with microbiome analysis are fundamental characteristics of the microbiota with advancing age and cannot be significantly changed by external actions. On others it is possible to act by playing on lifestyle, for example on nutrition and the intake of drugs that affect the state of the intestinal flora.

Intestinal dysbiosis in aging

Intestinal dysbiosis (changes in the intestinal microbiota) that occur during aging can be caused by:

  • un’alimentazione poco varia
  • a diet with little variety
  • an increase in sugar consumption
  • an increase in fat consumption
  • a reduction in the consumption of food of plant origin
  • a reduction in the consumption of healthy foods
  • an unhealthy lifestyle

In turn, intestinal dysbiosis is associated with:

  • nervous system degeneration associated with the intestine
  • alterations in intestinal motility
  • reduction of the intestinal barrier
  • increased intestinal permeability

Intestinal microbiota and inflammaging

Alterations in the intestinal microbiota also participate in the development and maintenance of so-called inflammaging, the low-grade inflammatory condition associated with aging.

In fact, the compromise of the intestinal barrier and permeability can lead to the passage into the blood of molecules deriving from the microbiota. These molecules can create an inflammatory condition by activating a particular class of white blood cells (macrophages) and thus increase the risk of atherosclerosis. In turn, atherosclerosis is associated with cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia.

Furthermore, intestinal dysbiosis associated with aging can endanger cognitive abilities by causing changes in molecules associated with inflammation (cytokines) and fatty acids (called “short-chain fatty acids”). Finally, they can be associated with the release of a toxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) that promotes the formation of the beta-amyloid protein responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

When to perform the microbiome analysis

The microbiome analysis with the Bioscience Institute MICROBALANCE during aging is particularly recommended in the case of:

  • intestinal problems (colitis, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, intestinal irregularity)
  • genitourinary infections (cystitis, urethritis, candidiasis)
  • menopause
  • risk factors for intestinal or systemic diseases
  • unbalanced diet


For more information on the MICROBALANCE test for the microbiome analysis during aging and to request the collection kit, contact Bioscience Institute by emailing or fill out the following request form to be contacted without obligation by our trusted biologist..

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