What is your best advice for aging well?
The older we get, the more unique our gut microbiota. And it is this uniqueness that promises both healthy aging and longer life expectancy among the elderly.1
So what’s the best advice for aging well? Find the answers in this article.
About this article
Can the gut microbiota slow cognitive decline?
Memory loss, difficulties with spatial orientation, anxiety disorders... Aging is often associated with psychological and cognitive decline.
Is it inevitable? No, thanks to the gut microbiota which could slow this decline. In fact, one preclinical study2 suggests that the gut-brain axis plays a key role in aging.
The authors believe that these results encourage therapeutic approaches that aim to modulate the gut microbiota to improve cognitive function in the elderly and, consequently, their quality of life. This avenue is being very seriously investigated by scientists who hope to prevent the development of age-associated memory disorders.
Gut microbiota: still many things to be discovered
A Mediterranean diet: the recipe for long life?
Aging is accompanied by general inflammation and the deterioration of many bodily functions, which contribute to the frailty syndrome found in the elderly. Does diet play a part? Very probably.
The (sidenote: Mediterranean diet Rich in fruit, vegetables, cereals, oilseeds (nuts) and fish, and low in red meat, saturated fats and dairy products. Lăcătușu CM, Grigorescu ED, Floria M, et al. The Mediterranean Diet: From an Environment-Driven Food Culture to an Emerging Medical Prescription. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 15;16(6):942. ) is no longer presented*as: THE benchmark for diets that promote health and well-being. It must be said that it contains a certain number of foods and culinary practices that are particularly beneficial for our bodies and propitious to healthy aging.
In fact, according to a study conducted among the elderly,3 the Mediterranean diet allows the microbiota to remain diversified (a sign of good health) and increases the number of “good” bacteria. These bacteria are associated with improved brain function (especially memory) and decreased inflammation and frailty.
Other beneficial changes obtained by this diet: increased walking speed and better manual strength. Would you like a bit more salad?
1 Wilmanski T, Diener C, Rappaport N, et al. Gut microbiome pattern reflects healthy ageing and predicts survival in humans. Nat Metab. 2021 Feb;3(2):274-286.
2 D'Amato A, Di Cesare Mannelli L, Lucarini E, et al. Faecal microbiota transplant from aged donor mice affects spatial learning and memory via modulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity- and neurotransmission-related proteins in young recipients. Microbiome. 2020 Oct 1;8(1):140.
3 Ghosh TS, Rampelli S, Jeffery IB, et al. Mediterranean diet intervention alters the gut microbiome in older people reducing frailty and improving health status: the NU-AGE 1-year dietary intervention across five European countries. Gut 2020 Jul;69(7):1218-1228.