Healthy aging, aging

Impression of the publications on the relevance of the microbiome

Healthy aging is a topic that is receiving more and more attention, because it is becoming clear that attention for disease control alone is insufficient: we are aging, but it has not yet been possible to postpone or prevent disease (1). For this reason, attention is now being paid to the biology behind the aging process itself and the hypothesis is that it can also postpone the development and progression of diseases (1).

Age is one of the most important risk factors in many diseases. Given the likely role of the microbiome in many of these diseases and conditions, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s (see separate sections), abnormalities of the microbiome to be one of the underlying processes that play a role in these aging diseases.

It is therefore striking that the diversity of the microbiome decreases with age, and that the degree of decline is correlated with deterioration in health (2,3). Conversely, there are indications that the greater presence of subgroups of bacteria associated with health plays a role in the attainment of high and very old ages (2,3). There are also indications that the microbiome in the elderly is less stable, while conversely there is a relationship between the composition of the microbiome and the degree of ‘brittleness’ of the elderly (4). Studies into the use of probiotics in the elderly show cautiously positive results on intestinal complaints, infections and lung complaints (3,5).


1. Kaeberlein M, Rabinovitch PS, Martin GM. Healthy aging: the ultimate preventative medicine. Science. 2015; 350: 1191–3.

2. Calvani R, Picca A, Lo Monaco MR, Landi F, Bernabei R, Marzetti E. Of Microbes and Minds: A Narrative Review on the Second Brain Aging. Front Med [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 May 27]; 5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5840854/

3. Vaiserman AM, Koliada AK, Marotta F. Gut microbiota: A player in aging and a target for anti-aging intervention. Aging Res Rev. 2017; 35: 36–45.

4. Mello AM, Paroni G, Daragjati J, Pilotto A. Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Their Contribution to Healthy Aging. Dig Dis Basel Switz. 2016; 34: 194–201.

5. Rondanelli M, Giacosa A, Faliva MA, Perna S, Allieri F, Castellazzi AM. Review on microbiota and effectiveness of probiotics use in older. World J Clin Cases WJCC. 2015; 3: 156–62.


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