Centenarians have a ‘youth-related aging pattern of the gut microbiome’: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© MEDITERRANEAN / Getty Images
© MEDITERRANEAN / Getty Images

Related tags Gut microbiome Probiotics Gut microbiota healthy aging longevity healthspan centenarian

The gut microbiota of centenarians is populated by higher levels of beneficial bacteria, and lower levels of potential inflammatory bacteria, says a new study from China.

Analysis of the gut microbiomes of 1,575 adults aged between 20 and 117, including data from 297 centenarians, indicated that the centenarians had ‘youth’-associated signatures in their microbiome, and that these “microbiome hallmarks continue to be enhanced throughout aging”, according to a new paper in Nature Aging​.

“Thus, we propose that the unique aging pattern of the gut microbiome in centenarians may confer positive effects on their health by reducing the senescence or chronic diseases that generally accompany aging,” wrote scientists from AIage Life Science Corporation Ltd. and Guangxi Academy of Sciences.

Centenarian microbiota

The study adds to a small body of science exploring how the microbiota and microbiome of long-lived humans may hold some key to healthy aging and longevity.

As reported in 2021 by NutraIngredients-USA​, a distinct set of gut microbes in Centenarians may contribute to longevity.

The new study expands our knowledge in this emerging area, with their analysis revealing that the gut microbiome of centenarians is characterized by “an over-representation of a Bacteroides-dominated enterotype, increase in species evenness, enrichment of potentially beneficial Bacteroidetes and depletion of potential pathobionts”.

The researchers also performed a longitudinal analysis across a 1.5-year period for 45 centenarians, and found that these microbiome hallmarks were maintained throughout aging.

“The longitudinal analysis in this study revealed that long-lived individuals with higher microbiome diversity were prone to fewer microbiota changes during aging, suggesting that higher diversity or species evenness in centenarians (compared with that in other old adults) might protect the gut microbiome from instability,” wrote the researchers.

“Because the gut microbiome has a critical role in host health and diseases, we speculate that this unique gut microbial signature and aging pattern may contribute to longevity,” they added.

Mining for novel probiotics

The findings continue to hint that the microbiomes of centenarians could be mined for novel probiotic strains to support healthspan in other individuals.

Indeed, another Chinese research group reported in a 2021 paper in Frontiers in Immunology​ that the combination of centenarian-derived Limosilactobacillus fermentum​ SX-0718, Lacticaseibacillus casei​ SX-1107, Bifidobacterium longum​ SX-1326, and B. animalis​ SX-0582 may exhibit anti-aging potential and protect against neuro-inflammation via the microbiota-gut-brain axis.

When administered to lab mice, the probiotic combination was also associated with an increase in the expression of molecules that improve the integrity of the intestinal barrier and reduce leaky gut.

Probiota Americas

PB-USA-23 - Article Banner – 2B - Chicago

The topic of aging and centenarians will be further explored at the upcoming Probiota Americas event in Chicago, June 14-16. The Session, "Aging – what can learn from Centenarians?" will feature presentations by Damian Rafal Plichta, PhD, Group Leader, Computational Biology at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Mark Haupt, MD, Chief Medical Officer, IFF, plus a dynamic panel discussion. 

Other sessions at the event include: The view from the CEO’s office & the state of the market; Tech advances to drive next gen solutions: A.I., CRISPR, -omics, & GM; Microbiome modulation to support women’s health; The opportunity for pets; Postbiotics – from gut to skin health; LBPs in the USA; and the regulatory landscape in North America. 

For more information and to register, please click HERE​.

Source: Nature Aging​ 
2023, doi: 10.1038/s43587-023-00389-y
“Longevity of centenarians is reflected by the gut microbiome with youth-associated signatures”
Authors: S. Pang et al.



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