Fecal transplants have ‘fountain of youth’ potential: Process reverses effects of aging in mice

The microbes that populate the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract, called the microbiota, have profound effects on achieving and maintaining good health. Every day, scientists discover more ways in which the gut microbiota can improve or harm wellbeing. There is now evidence that transplanting fecal microbes from younger mice into older mice can reverse age-related, adverse changes in some organs. Is it possible that the fecal transplant process could reverse aging in humans?

The human gut microbiome changes with age. Some of these changes adversely affect metabolism and immunity. They can be associated with age-related disorders including GI, cardiovascular, neurologic, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases. Research from just last year showed how fecal transplants restored cognitive function in aging mice. This latest study by scientists at the Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia in England only furthers the promising findings.

In the study, researchers demonstrated, in mice, that transplanting fecal microbiota from younger into older mice can reverse signs of aging in the gut, eyes, and brain. Conversely, fecal transplants from older into younger mice adversely affected the brain and vision in the younger mice.

“This groundbreaking study provides tantalizing evidence for the direct involvement of gut microbes in aging and the functional decline of brain function and vision, and offers a potential solution [for age-related decline] in the form of gut microbe replacement therapy,” says Simon Carding, head of the Gut Microbes and Health Research Program at the Quadram Institute, in a statement.

The researchers found that the microbiota from old donors damaged the lining of the GI tract, allowing bacterial products to cross into the circulatory system. The breach of integrity in the gut triggered activation of specific immune cells in the brain. In the eye, the team found specific proteins associated with retinal degeneration elevated in the young mice receiving microbiota from old donors.

The microbiota of young mice, and the old mice that received young microbiota transplants, also had more beneficial bacteria which were previously associated with good health in both mice and humans. The researchers analyzed the products which these bacteria produce. There were significant shifts in particular fats and vitamin metabolism of inflammatory cells in the brain and eye.

“Our results provide more evidence of the important links between microbes in the gut and healthy aging of tissues and organs around the body,” says Dr. Aimee Parker, of the Quadram Institute. “We hope that our findings will contribute ultimately to understanding how we can manipulate our diet and our gut bacteria to maximize good health in later life.”

The researchers are working to identify the beneficial components of the young donor microbiota and how fecal transplants affect organs distant from the gut. They caution about extrapolating their results directly to humans.

The research is published in the journal Microbiome.


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About the Author

Dr. Faith Coleman

Faith A. Coleman MD
Dr. Coleman is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and holds a BA in journalism from UNM. She completed her family practice residency at Wm. Beaumont Hospital, Troy and Royal Oak, MI, consistently ranked among the United States Top 100 Hospitals by US News and World Report. Dr. Coleman writes on health, medicine, family, and parenting for online information services and educational materials for health care providers.

Comments

  1. People who travel to Mars will have to deal with this. Any any children born on Mars will not have the necessary gut bacteria, because they won’t eat dirt as a child, like we all did.

    1. Partial reprogramming with up-regulated Yamanaka Factors + Lin28 can reverse aging in 40 days… butt, this may enhance the rejuvenation effects in the enteric nervous system.

  2. Not sure if this will work in humans or not. How do you separate the Harmful Bacteria, from the Helpful ones?

  3. Well then, if this works in humans and it is a safe thing for doctors to do, then bring it on.

  4. What the author is saying, without saying, is that their intent is to murder a child, remove their stomach, then implant the stomach into an older person.

  5. It’s all the broad spectrum antibiotics that are shoved down our throats by big farma and docs that kill our microbiota in our guts. There are 1000’s of different types we know nothing about that are killed by the antibiotics in our food and prescriptions.

  6. That is awesome. You will be surprised (maybe not) how many vein , fkkkkeed up , money and glitter worshippers would not think twice before pushing someone else’s schoyt up their keester or down their throat. But we have now seen it all the last couple yrs

  7. And next thing you know, you , the same modafoooookass that wrote this bullcrap will register another website selling this crap. pun intended. brilliant

  8. Such stupidity!
    If you want to reverse premature aging, EAT HEALTHY AND EXERCISE!
    That improves gut health and keeps your body fit. Pills will never replace that, but our lazy, undisciplined loser herd are always seeking that soft, easy way.
    ABSURD!

  9. Chronicles of history record the fact that societies in decline began to eat their own feces. Now the situation has arrived among us. Indeed it’s packaged in a semi-acceptable form of a pill, but its the same bovine excrement historians have come to expect of societies that are circling the drain. We already eat plastic food. Are we now being told it’s good to eat our own crap? Yup.

  10. Traditional farmers growing from harvesting their own seeds and fertilizing with compost live long healthy lives. If you don’t live in an HOA you can do this on some scale. Plant your own vegetables and make your own compost and grown vegetables instead of flowers.

  11. Eat 2 meals. Bet. 12 and 6 pm..no carbs no breads forever
    Go to the gym and run 1 mile
    Meditate 15 mins
    Practice Chi gong
    And listen to Dr Gundry

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