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Fighting inflammaging: Here's how a healthy gut flora can slow down your aging

Our immune system weakens as we age, making us more prone to illness. Turns out, our gut might play a part.

As we grow older, our immune system weakens, making us more prone to illness. Everyone's immune system seems to age at a different pace, and recent research suggests that gut microbiome diversity may play a role in these differences.

Here's some key points from this article from The Conversation:

  • The bacteria of the gut microbiome help maintain internal stability and support the immune system.
  • As we get older, we tend to lose microbial diversity of our gut microbiome (due to antibiotic treatments or repetitive diet), often leading to microbial dysbiosis. This imbalance reduces the diversity of beneficial bacteria and increases the presence of harmful ones.
  • The gut bacteria normally help maintain the intestinal barrier, which prevents harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. So, changes in gut bacteria can compromise this barrier, allowing harmful substances to pass through.
  • As the gut microbiome health declines, we become susceptible to inflammaging—a persistent, low-grade inflammation across the body.   Inflammaging compromises immune responses, elevating the risk of infections and diseases.
  • Various factors like microbial imbalances, stress, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and chronic infections exacerbate inflammaging.
  • Sustaining a healthy gut microbiome: Adopt healthy dietary habits, such as the Mediterranean diet which emphasises plant-based foods and healthy fats, moderate consumption of fish and poultry, and limited intake of red meat and processed foods. Incorporating probiotics and prebiotics can also help mitigate age-related inflammation and fortify immune function.
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