Inflammation increases with age and is a strong risk factor for death in the elderly, but the underlying cause has not been clear. A study published April 12 in Cell Host & Microbe reveals that gut microbes are one of the culprits behind age-associated inflammation and premature death in mice. Imbalances in the composition of gut microbes in older mice cause the intestines to become leaky, allowing the release of bacterial products that trigger inflammation and impair immune function.
“To date, the only things you can do to reduce your age-associated inflammation are eat a healthy diet, exercise, and manage any chronic inflammatory conditions to the best of your ability,” says senior author Dawn Bowdish (@MsMacrophage) of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University. “We hope that in the future we will be able use drugs or pre- or probiotics to increase the barrier function of the gut to keep the microbes in their place and reduce age-associated inflammation and all the bad things that come with it.”
Discover more at: EurekAlert \ AAAS