A new experiment has found that a decline in cognitive health could be reversed with gut health which is increasingly recognised as an important regulator of host immunity and brain health.
The new study establishes a link between gut microbes and reversed aging in the brain. The findings may help scientists engineer better treatments — and perhaps, even preventive measures — to address dementia, a chronic disease that doesn’t have a cure yet.
Scientists have known for the past two decades that the metropolis home to trillions of bacteria in your belly — the gut microbiome — is also central to mental health, the immune system, and more.
One of the latest studies in gut health scrutinizes how our microbiome affects aging in mice, using a surprising transplant.
The research, published Monday in the journal Nature Aging, reveals that older mice who have received gut microbiota transplants from young mice show improved brain function and behavior. This mouse model offers powerful insight into how diet and what populates our stomachs affect what our brains look like in old age.
“Previous research… has shown that the gut microbiome plays a key role in aging and the aging process,” says John Cryan, from the department of anatomy and neuroscience at the University College Cork in Ireland, who co-authored the study.
The Nature Aging study is the first to demonstrate a correlation between transplantation of gut microbes and improved brain function in aging members of a species.
Cryan notes the present study is “a potential game-changer” since it suggests how “the [gut] microbiome can be harnessed to reverse age-related brain deterioration.“