Annika Mäyrä, MML, microbiologist
“In the frail elderly, the imbalance of the gut microbiota has increased, the proportion of beneficial short-chain fatty acid-producing bacterial species has decreased, and the proportion of unwanted species that cause infections has increased. This increases gut permeability, the leakage of unwanted bacteria and their endotoxins from the gut into the body, increasing the risk of inflammatory reactions.” (Ragonnaud E, Biragyn A. 2021. The gut microbiota as a key driver of “healthy” aging in older people. Immun Aging 18:2–11)
Changes in the microbiome begin with aging gradually already years before old age. The good news, however, is that the gut microbiota can be influenced by a diet rich in fiber and probiotic bacteria and fiber supplements. The fibers act as nutrients for the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. It’s easy to test your gut microbiota, for example, with the GutIndex® TOTAL Gut Microbiota Test you can take at home. The tests can also be used to monitor the effects of diet and bacterial supplements on the microbiome. Only by experimenting can the most suitable means of maintaining the balance of the intestinal microbiota be found.
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