Chronic low-level background inflammation affects most of us, causing us to feel sicker and age faster. In fact, the connection between inflammation and aging is so strong that researchers now call it “inflammaging.”
Inflammaging is associated with dozens of disabling and deadly diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autoimmune diseases
And while the medical community has known about that inflammaging issue for years, new science has shone a spotlight on one of its main causes: dysbiosis, when the bacteria in your gut microbiome are out of balance.
The good news: Rebalancing your gut microbiome can reduce – even eliminate – inflammaging so you can stay young and healthy for decades to come.
Dysbiosis Can Make You Old and Sick
Your gut microbiome houses trillions of bacteria, good (probiotics) and bad (pathogens). When your gut is healthy, probiotics outnumber pathogens. Diversity, meaning lots of different strains of probiotic bacteria, is also crucial for a healthy gut. And with a diverse bunch of beneficial bacteria in charge, your gut microbiome provides dozens of important health benefits, including:
- Strong immune system
- Balanced blood sugar
- Natural energy
- Better heart and brain function
- Easier weight management
- Essential nutrients, antioxidants, and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
But when pathogens outnumber probiotics – dysbiosis – they start to damage your health and cause rapid aging. That’s mainly because pathogens trigger chronic inflammation in a two very important ways:
- Pathogens produce LPS toxins (also known as lipopolysaccharides) that attack the protective barrier that lines your gut. They damage that barrier, and escape into your bloodstream – a condition called toxic streaming – and cause inflammation wherever they land.
- Pathogens stop production of anti-inflammatory compounds (normally produced by probiotics) making it much hard for your body to keep inflammation under control.
So when your gut is out of balance, inflammation goes wild, and you start aging faster and faster.
Weird Mouse Study Proves Inflammaging Comes from the Gut
Chronic inflammation can be triggered by all kinds of things, from pollution to viruses to radiation exposure. But according to some cutting-edge research, inflammaging starts in the gut.
Researchers took gut bacteria from old or young natural mice and transferred them to young, germ-free mice (animals with no bacteria at all in their bodies). Before the transfer, those germ-free mice were perfectly young and healthy. But that quickly changed… the germ-free mice that got old mouse bacteria developed inflammaging in just four weeks.
Those germ-free mice developed intestinal inflammation and toxic streaming from the transplanted bacteria.
The scientists’ conclusion: Gut bacteria can cause inflammaging.
Healthy Centenarians Have Young Guts
As most of us age, the bacteria in our gut microbiomes tend to shift from probiotic toward pathogen, and bacteria diversity decreases .
That’s not what happens in people who live very long healthy lives, as several studies point out.
The healthiest 90- and 100-year-olds (called centenarians) have young gut microbiomes – and there are a bunch of studies that prove it.
In one study, researchers examined the gut bacteria of healthy Chinese people who were at least 90 years old. They found that their gut microbiomes were more diverse than even young adults and contained beneficial bacteria strains associated with good health.
Another study, this one involving centenarians living in “longevity villages” in South Korea, found that these elders had diverse, abundant populations of beneficial bacteria.
A 2019 Italian study found that Sardinian centenarians had higher diversity of beneficial bacteria than other people – young and old – in the area. Their gut microbiome also produced high levels of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which promote healthy aging.
This line of research is just starting to gain momentum, but one thing is abundantly clear: a healthy, balanced, diverse gut microbiome is the key to a long, healthy life.
And rebalancing your gut is the best way to prevent and reverse inflammaging.
Rebalance Your Gut to Prevent Inflammaging
The New Year is a great time to reboot your gut microbiome and make sure inflammation doesn’t make you look and feel old before your time.
The best way to get your microbiome in fighting shape: Send in the toughest spore probiotics on the market. Just Thrive Probiotic contains four strains of clinically proven spore probiotics. As a team, the four take down pathogens, support the growth of beneficial bacteria, and stop toxic streaming. And each one also brings special strengths:
- Bacillus indicus HU36, which provides a rich palette of potent, instantly bioavailable antioxidants including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, astaxanthin, and CoQ10.
- Bacillus subtilis HU38, which produces nattokinase, an enzyme celebrated for its ability to improve blood pressure and promote healthy clotting.
- Bacillus coagulans, which reduces levels of C-reactive protein (CRP, a measure of inflammation), decreases oxidative stress, and improves total and LDL cholesterol levels
- Bacillus clausii, which stimulates antibody production to give your immune system a powerful defensive boost.
And to give your microbiome an extra edge, nourish those beneficial bacteria with their favorite prebiotic fiber. Just Thrive Precision Prebiotic contains a special blend of prebiotic fiber that selectively feeds only the probiotics in your gut, giving them a clear advantage over any lingering pathogens.