Microbiome composition is a good indicator of age. The confirmation comes from a study published on mSystems, the American Society for Microbiology’s open access journal, by a team of researchers led by experts from the University of California San Diego.

Working on a total of almost 9,000 fecal, saliva, and skin samples, authors concluded that gut, oral, and skin microbiome predicts age. This new study paves the way to new research «on the role of the microbiome in accelerating or decelerating the aging process and in the susceptibility for age-related diseases».

Microbiome and aging

The microbiome is the collection of the genetic material of the set of microbes living in the organism and on its surface (the so called “microbiota”). Most of this microbes live in the gut; however, oral cavity, skin, vagina, and other body compartments possess their own microbiome.

In the first 3 years of life human microbiome rapidly change all across the body, whereas it change relatively little in adults (excepting for unbalanced conditions). Aging is associated with new changes. In particular, in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio is inverted; Bacterioidetes predominate, and the relative proportion of Firmicutes subgroups changes. Microbiota diversity, the abundance of species producing butyrate (an inflammation-modulating factor) and Bifidobacteria (health-promoting germs) decrease, whereas levels of Akkermansia muciniphila (a bacterium that reduces the intestinal barrier) increase. In centenarians it is also possible to observe a greater number of potential pathogens, such as Proteobacteria.

Assessing microbiota state

Age-related gut microbiota variations are associated with several conditions, such as enteric nervous system degeneration, intestinal motility alteration, intestinal barrier defense function reduction, and decrease in capability to ferment carbohydrates. Moreover, given the role gut microbiota plays in the induction and the maintenance of inflammaging (the inflammation associated with aging), microbiome variations could predispose to the development of several age-related diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and cancer. That is why this new study confirms the utility of assessing microbiota composition for healthy living.

MICROBALANCE is Bioscience Institute‘s platform to analyze microbiota composition. All is needed is a sample that can be collected at home and that is shipped to Bioscience’s laboratories for bacterial DNA extraction and sequencing by the newest available techniques. Sequencing outputs do not represent a pathology diagnosis, but a microbiota profile allowing medical doctors and qualified nutritionists to identify strategies to correct microbiota imbalances or improve its composition.

For more informations on the test, visit MICROBALANCE webpage or call us at +971 (0)4 375 7220.

References

  • Belkaid Y and Hand T. Role of the Microbiota in Immunity and inflammation. Cell. 2014 March 27; 157(1): 121–141. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.011
  • Buford TW. (Dis)Trust your gut: the gut microbiome in age-related inflammation, health, and disease. Microbiome (2017) 5:80. doi: 10.1186/s40168-017-0296-0
  • Huang S et al. Human Skin, Oral, and Gut Microbiomes Predict Chronological Age. mSystems. 2020 Feb 11;5(1). pii: e00630-19. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00630-19
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