Scientists at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), have discovered that bacteria can keep you young. Ageing can be slowed down by bacteria or microorganisms that live in the digestive system.

All organisms and also humans live with bacteria inside and outside the epidermis, these microbial organisms live a symbiotic existence inside us. For the last 20 years, research has affirmed how important they are in nutrition, physiology, metabolism, and behaviour too.

According to Professor Sven Pettersson from the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, who injected microbes from old mice to younger mice without them. Eight weeks after, the young mice have intestinal growth, more brain neurons that were observed in the experiment.

Scientists demonstrated that the increase of brain neurons was due to the microorganisms or bacteria, which secreted a short fatty acid call butyrate, that was not there yet.

 Microbial fermentation creates Butyrate from fibres in lower intestines and causes the production of FGF21 or pro-longevity hormones, which controls energy in the body and metabolic rate. Advancing age will limit the production of butyrate.

Results from tests indicate that butyrate given to younger mice produced similar adult neurogenesis effects. That benefited the younger mice when given butyrate, as seen in the study results.

All the results from the study were published on November 13, 2019, with researchers from Singapore, United Kingdom, and Australia that explored the subject thoroughly.

 Researchers have concluded that an old mouse's microbes could support increased neurons in younger mice. Sven Pettersson remarked," This is a surprising and very interesting observation, especially since we can mimic the neuro-stimulatory effect by using butyrate alone."

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 He also added that "These results will lead us to explore whether butyrate might support repair and rebuilding in situations like stroke, spinal damage and to attenuate accelerated ageing and cognitive decline."

Increased production of butyrate, helps in healing a stroke, damage to the spine, and help contain faster ageing, arresting the mental decline in most individuals who need more of the hormone.

Bacteria and microbes: How they affect digestion

Another aspect of the study, is also how the gut bacteria affected the digestive system of the younger mice.

 Age will affect how small intestinal cells work and even reduces function, like less mucus produced by the intestinal cells, adds more damage and even cell deterioration. As the body tissues age and butyrate production is less.

To counter the adverse effects of ageing, increasing butyrate production will improve the production of mucus, with fewer chances of inflaming the intestines.

 Bacteria or microorganisms from older donors when given to younger mice, does lengthen and widen the intestinal villi, or the small intestine wall. Though the small intestine and colon of young germ-free mice are smaller than older ones.

Results verify that microorganisms could reinvigorate and support ageing bodies, through increased butyrate production.

 The study shows that getting advanced in age with all the negative effects is lessened by adding butyrate hormones and inducing increased production of it.

According to Sven Pettersson, with more studies on the subject and testing food supplements with butyrate to prevent negative ageing effects and lessen neuron degeneration.

As science has discovered that bacteria and butyrate can reduce the effects of ageing, this will keep many individuals living in the peak of health longer.

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