- The microbes
present in the gut play an important role in the development of
inflammation as age advances.
- Certain microbes
are found to leak out of the gut and result in inflammation.
- Germ-free environment showed reduced level of intestinal
permeability and lower inflammatory markers.
body's immune system begins to gradually deteriorate with advancement in age.
This is associated with systemic inflammation, which is one of the strong risk
factors of death among the elderly. In a study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe
, gut microbes
have been shown to be associated with age-associated inflammation as well
as premature death.
are caused in the intestine due to changes in the composition of gut microbes.
This in turn, lead
to leaky intestines that release bacterial products, triggering
‘Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential for controlling inflammation with advanced age.’
Dawn Bowdish from the McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote Institute for
Infectious Disease Research said, that current practices to lower age-related inflammation involve maintaining a healthy diet, exercising
and managing the chronic inflammation.
The study conducted by the research team shed some light on the role of gut microbes
, raising the possibility of
using drugs or pre-biotics that would lower the permeability of the gut. This
will help retain the microbes and lower the risk of age- related inflammation.
Age Associated Inflammation
is found to be associated with
Cause for Age-Related Inflammation
- Chronic low-grade
- The levels of
interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor
necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) are 2-4-fold higher in the elderly than among
- Tissue samples
from senescent animals showed that there were elevated levels of activated
protein levels are higher in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and plasma
samples in elderly persons, than among healthy young adults
low-grade inflammation of the lungs is present in elderly persons.
individuals with high levels of inflammation have a higher likelihood of
being frail, with greater dependency and chances of being hospitalized
- They are found to
be prone to certain infections including pneumonia
- They have a
greater risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and death
research team raised mice in a germ-free
environment, and compared these mice with mice that were grown in a normal
did the study reveal?
study showed that -
- Mice that were
grown in a germ-free environment
did not show any change in the intestinal permeability or in the level of
pro-inflammatory cytokines or in the number of bacterial products.
- There were more
number of mice, grown in the germ-free environment, that lived for about 600 days or more, an
advanced age for mice, when compared with mice that were grown in a normal
- The macrophages
that were isolated form such old germ-free mice retained microbial activity.
- The age
associated changes that occur in the gut microbiome led to weakening of
the intestinal barrier with impaired immune function and reduced lifespan.
Age-related inflammation and the microbiome are bidirectional. Further
experiments showed that
- In mice that were
deficient in tumor necrosis factor (TNF), there were no changes in the
composition of the gut microbes.
- When mice grown
in a normal environment were treated with anti-TNF drug, the age-related changes in the microbiome were reversed.
Bowdish said that this was probably due to reduction in inflammation that led
to an improvement in the immune function. This
helped in maintaining a healthy crop of gut microbiome. The research team stated that addressing the
age-related inflammation will improve the
immune health of the individual. Further research aims at identifying the good
bacteria that help maintain gut health and the bad bacteria that give rise to
the leaky gut. Identifying the onset of the inflammation would help in
developing strategies that prevent further increase and can be used to take
current research can be used to identify pro and pre-biotic treatment methods that
will control age-related inflammation and lower
the risk of associated diseases.
Caffeine Found to Lower Age Related Inflammation
a similar study conducted by a research team from Stanford University,
metabolites or breakdown products of nucleic acids were found to circulate in
the blood and increase inflammation. This increase in inflammation was found to
be associated with cardiovascular health. A research team led by Dr. Mark Davis
from Stanford University showed, that caffeine could lower the nucleic acid
metabolites and lower the level of inflammation.
inflammation using novel strategies could help in reducing age associated
inflammation and lower the risk of diseases. This will help in improving the
quality of life of people during the advanced stages of life.
- Caffeine may counter age-related inflammation - (https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/01/caffeine-may-counter-age-related-inflammation-study-finds.html)
- A cause of age-related inflammation found - (https://emb.carnegiescience.edu/cause-age-related-inflammation-found-5095)
- Netusha Thevaranjan, Alicja Puchta, Christian Schulz, Avee Naidoo, J.C. Szamosi, Chris P. Verschoor, Dessi Loukov, Louis P. Schenck, Jennifer Jury, Kevin P. Foley, Jonathan D. Schertzer, Maggie J. Larché, Donald J. Davidson, Elena F. Verdú, Michael G. Surette, Dawn M.E. Bowdish. Age-Associated Microbial Dysbiosis Promotes Intestinal Permeability, Systemic Inflammation, and Macrophage Dysfunction. Cell Host & Microbe, 2017; 21 (4): 455 DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.03.002