The Sheekey Science Show explains how the relationship between your gut and your brain can improve your lifespan and healthspan from top to toe.
You are probably aware that we carry a variety of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) within our bodies, most notably in our gut.
But we don’t just carry them around as passengers, instead our gut microbiomes play a variety of important roles from aiding with food digestion and nutrient absorption to shaping our immune response.
Part of the way this is thought to be mediated is through the secretion of bioactive compounds from the microbes into the body. Maybe unsurprisingly then, dysbiosis of our microbiomes have been linked with various diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The gut microbiome has also been shown to change with age. So could restoring a more youthful microbiome have benefits? Well, in a recent study this was investigated in old mice who had undergone fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) from young mice to see if it influenced their health and behaviour.
Many markers of brain health were restored post-FMT in the old mice including a reduction in microglia size and a change in hippocampal metabolites (region of the brain involved in memory). These changes were correlated with improved spatial memory performance tests in these old-FMT mice too! So maybe we could be seeing more of FMT treatments in the future…?
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