A diet that allows you to slow down aging due to the transformation of the microbiome

Why do some people get decrepit quickly over the years, move around with difficulty, suffer memory loss, while others retain physical vigour and a clear mind for the rest of their lives? International research has shown that the diet and composition of the intestinal microbiome play a key role in proper aging. Specialists from the University of Cork (Ireland), the University of Bologna (Italy), the University of East Anglia (UK) and several other European scientific institutions have found a link between people's commitment to a Mediterranean diet, intestinal microbiome and their ability to stay healthy at an advanced age. 

The experiment involved 612 elderly people (65 to 79 years old), some of them (289) were on a regular diet and others (323) were on a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by an abundance of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and fish and low red meat and animal fat content. 

Before and after a 12-month observation period, the intestinal microbial profile of volunteers from both groups was analysed. The microbiome composition of the volunteers was found to have improved significantly during the year of the Mediterranean diet. This was manifested in an increase in microbial diversity in the intestines, which has been shown in earlier studies to have a positive effect on muscle strength and cognitive ability. 

There has also been an increase in the number of bacteria that experts have called 'microbiome cornerstones': their presence is crucial to a stable intestinal ecosystem. These are symbiote (friendly) microorganisms that produce useful short-chain fatty acids: in earlier studies, these were the bacteria found in the intestines of long-livers. At the same time, the number of potentially dangerous germs producing bile acids has decreased: increased content of these bacteria provokes the development of intestinal cancer, diabetes mellitus, obesity. 

Researchers emphasize that the change in the microbiome due to the canons of the Mediterranean diet can curb the development of muscle weakness, inflammation and improve cognitive functions of the brain. The changes were due to an increase in fiber, vitamins and minerals, particularly C, B6, B9, copper, potassium, iron, manganese and magnesium. At the same time, deficiency in fibre and vegetable oil in the diet leads to progressive muscle weakness and cognitive impairment. 

Feb. 18, 2020, 12:29 p.m.

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