Written by: Jen Cox - AdvDip NAT + WHM. @keeperandkin
We are what we eat. Or as scientists now believe, we are what the bacteria in our digestive system eat and it’s impacting how we age. The microbiome plays a key role in longevity. From helping us to age more gracefully to managing common age-related issues, emerging research suggests that if you want to extend the length and health of your life (and look good while doing it) microbiome support may just be the missing piece.
A roundup of some of the evidence includes:
Probiotics may play a role in both extended lifespan and healthspan.
One study published in Scientific Reports compared the lifespan of fruit flies who were fed a synbiotic blend to those that weren’t. The difference was a dramatic 60% extension in lifespan! The flies with envious microbiomes also showed less signs of age related issues. (Most) humans are not flies, so we can anticipate the results of a human trial may prove less dramatic. Still, it’s exciting and deserves more research. If you’re keen to take a squiz at that study - you’ll find it through Science Daily here.
Probiotics may help us to age more gracefully.
There are a few bits of evidence for this. Lactobacillus Plantarum has been found to improve skin hydration. It can also offer serious perks against wrinkles by improving elasticity (more on that info here.) If acne, eczema, inflammation or rosacea are an issue for you - probiotics may be the tool you’re after too. Needing more? There is also evidence probiotics may assist in the building of collagen, so it’s safe to say our little gut friendlies have loads of plans in place that keep you glowing.
Probiotics may address ‘inflammaging’.
I am always pleased to come across a new combined word but apparently inflammaging is as ominous as it sounds - it refers to the chronic inflammation that’s associated with growing older. Long term inflammation is part of what puts our golden oldies at risk of issues like stroke, dementia and heart disease so does need to be addressed. One article from Frontiers Journal found that inflammaging is at least in part caused by an imbalance in the digestive microbiome, so supplementing with a good quality broad spectrum probiotic to replenish balance is key.
If longevity is a focus for you, we have some tips.
Take your synbiotic, daily. The benefits are pretty clear cut with all the evidence available: nourish and replenish your microbiome to reap the rewards. Our Coconut Plus, Baby Probiotic and Gorgeous Greens are all appropriate choices for broad spectrum pre and probiotic therapy.
Eat the rainbow, Focus on the brightly coloured fruits and vegetables - they're full of more antioxidants than you could poke a stick at. Antioxidants are great for fighting the oxidative stress and inflammation that’s associated with most age related conditions. It just so happens that most of our favourite prebiotic foods are plants too, so make sure they’re all over your plate.
Manage your stress. Stress is inflammatory, making it one major risk factor for age related disorders. Moving your body and making time to meditate are the two best tools we have for managing this, as well as taking your daily probiotic to help cultivate the gut mind connection. For more on psychobiotics, check out our blog here.
Keep it simple. Don’t overload with added extras and don’t get bogged down in worry. The majority of chronic diseases we see today are preventable using great diet and lifestyle tools. This means staying consistent to the evidence-based methods and investing energy into self care each day.