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Embrace Age – The Podcast – Ep 6: The Power Of Example
December 10, 2018
Embrace Age, The Youtube Series Ep 7: Happiness is an inside job
December 16, 2018

The link between the gut and healthy aging

Gut Health Heart

Within our gut exists an entire world of microorganisms; with more bacterial, fungal and microbial cells living in our guts than human cells exist in our entire bodies. While research into our gut biomes is in its infancy, early studies are suggesting strong links between our mental health, immune health and overall health and our gut microbiome. When the helpful bacteria in our guts (known as “probiotics”) are out of balance, studies have shown we can age much quicker and our longevity can decrease¹. By keeping our guts healthy and happy we are able to slow down some of the undesirable effects of age and even increase the length of our lives.

Our gut’s microbiome is established when we’re born, passed down to us from our mothers in the birth canal. By the age of three, our guts are almost completely established with the populations of bacteria which will serve us for our entire lives. These microbes are responsible for breaking down our foods, fighting off bad bacteria and subsequently, infection and even creating important chemicals which affect our moods, such as serotonin. As we age however, we come in contact with various factors which can negatively impact our gut biome including antibiotics, stress, processed foods and industrial cleaners. When you take care of your gut biome however, ensuring that you have more good bacteria than bad and a large array of species of bacteria, you can expect a variety of benefits which will help you age more healthily.

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

Studies have shown links between healthy cognitive function, memory and probiotics. With diminished brain function and memory being a major issue as we age, probiotics have been shown to not only boost the production of brain cells², but also to improve the connection between the brainstem and the centre of our brains responsible for cognition³, keeping our thoughts clearer and problem solving sharp even as we age.

Keeping Your Immune Health Boosted

There is a constant battle going on inside our bodies between good and bad bacteria, with the battleground being our immune health. When the balance in our gut tips towards the bad bacteria our immune system may either become suppressed, leading to autoimmune diseases ranging from arthritis to lupus and diabetes, or overactive resulting in issues such as allergies, asthma or eczema¹. A depleted immune system causes us to age much more quickly, and can make us feel older than our years as we experience pain and reduced mobility and vitality.

Reduce Inflammation

With a good balance of probiotics in our guts, ensuring our immune system is functioning well, we can help reduce inflammation, and subsequently pain, in our bodies and joints. This will ensure we are able to keep active and exercise as we age.

Maintaining Your Energy Levels

With all the energy we ever receive coming from the foods we eat, it’s important that what we are eating is correctly digested. This is where our probiotics shine, with healthy probiotics breaking down our food completely and harvesting all the vitamins and minerals we need to maintain healthy energy levels throughout the day.

Keeping Our Gut Healthy

There are a range of relatively simple things we can do to keep our guts healthy and maintain a good balance of probiotics. Firstly, we can take a daily probiotic and prebiotic (indigestible fibres which probiotics feed on) to ensure we have a good range of beneficial bacteria and that these bacteria have the food they need to thrive. Secondly, you can ensure you avoid things which will deplete the health of your microbiome such as unnecessary antibiotics, sugary and processed foods and industrial strength cleaners. And thirdly, you can limit stress in your life, as this can wreak havoc with the bacteria in your gut.

The links between our gut health and overall health are becoming clearer, and this also has an impact on aging well. While we can’t stop the aging process in its tracks, we can ensure we age as healthily as possible and increase our longevity by taking simple steps to keep our guts healthy.

The Nutra-Life Gut health range has been formulated to provide a comprehensive three step program to help your maintain and care for your gut health. Step 1 is our Gut Relief which helps to sooth, protect and nourish your gut. Step 2 is our Probiotica range which helps to maintain your gut microflora by adding good bacteria. Step 3 is our Digestive Enzymes which aids in the breakdown of macro nutrients fat, carbohydrates, proteins and helps digest lactose.

It is important that we celebrate and embrace the ageing process. That’s why we’ve partnered with stylist and model, Mel Brady, to talk to women who are taking charge and living well.

Watch the full episodes of Embrace Age here and listen to the full conversations via the Embrace Age Podcast.

 

1 Kim S, Jazwinski SM. Gerontology. 2018 The Gut Microbiota and Healthy Aging: A Mini-Review.  64(6):513-520. doi: 10.1159/000490615. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

2 Möhle, L., Mattei, D., Heimesaat, M., Bereswill, S., Fischer, A., Alutis, M., Wolf, S. (2016). Ly6Chi Monocytes Provide a Link between Antibiotic-Induced Changes in Gut Microbiota and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Cell Reports, 15(9), 1945-1956.

3 Tillisch, K., Labus, J., Kilpatrick, L., Jiang, Z., Stains, J., Ebrat, B., . . . Mayer, E. A. (2013). Consumption of Fermented Milk Product With Probiotic Modulates Brain Activity. Gastroenterology, 144(7).