WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Fecal transplantation is demonstrated to reverse age-associated inflammation that causes a decline in tissue function, a new study finds.
- The researchers said that this improves understanding of the importance of microbiota composition and how it could be involved in disease development
- The paper was published in Microbiome.
As a person grows older, there are changes in microbiota composition or the microorganisms present inside their body, and these changes are connected to age-associated inflammation in the body.
This inflammation is called ‘inflammaging’ and it causes a decline in tissue function while weakening the lining of the gut, allowing more harmful bacteria to spread throughout the body.
To understand this, the researchers wanted to see if replacing old gut bacteria with younger ones could help mitigate inflammation in the body. For this transplantation experiment, researchers included different age groups: 3 months (young), 18 months (old), and 2 years (aged) or 70 to 80 in human years.
The transfer of microbiota from the aged to the young resulted in accelerated central nervous system (CNS) inflammation and retinal inflammation. Meanwhile, the opposite is observed in young-to-aged transplants: older mice (aged) demonstrated a decrease in inflammation, specifically in the brain and eyes.
“We hope that our findings will contribute ultimately to understanding how we can manipulate our diet and our gut bacteria to maximize good health in later life,” said Dr. Aimee Parker in a statement.
This fecal transplantation is not a new procedure and it has been used to treat Clostridium difficile (or “C. diff”) infections, which cause colitis and other gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
The US Food and Drug Administration, however, has not approved the procedure and has issued a warning about potential life-threatening infections after a reported complication in some who tried this procedure.
The paper was published in Microbiome on Friday. University of East Anglia researchers said their results in the mice model are promising, and it demonstrates the potential of “poo pill” supplements that could be used as aging prophylactic. However, as the researchers said, there is still a need for additional research on this, and it could still be a long way to go.
The medical field is just beginning to understand the importance of microbiota composition and how it could be involved in disease development including dementia, cancer, obesity, and even depression.
Dr. Simon Carding, one of the authors of the paper mentioned, added, “This groundbreaking study provides tantalising evidence for the direct involvement of gut microbes in aging and the functional decline of brain function and vision and offers a potential solution in the form of gut microbe replacement therapy.”
Source: New York Post