11 January 2012

Probiotics increase life expectancy

If the results of clinical studies confirm the data of experiments on mice, probiotic bacteria of the LKM512 strain will help to increase human life expectancy and improve the health of the elderly.

In the intestines of mammals there are hundreds of species of bacteria that contribute to the digestion of food and, in some cases, the development of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics – beneficial bacteria – control the reproduction of the intestinal microflora, contributing to the improvement of its work and condition in general. Researchers at the Japanese Innovation Center in Waco, part of the RIKEN Institute, working under the leadership of Dr. Yoshimi Benno, declare that fortification of food with Bifidobacterium animalis strain LKM512 can increase the lifespan of mice.

Previously, the authors demonstrated that the intake of bacteria of the LKM512 strain is able to reduce the levels of inflammatory markers in the body of elderly people and change the composition of the population of bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract. To identify the possible effect of these microorganisms on life expectancy, LKM512 bacteria were introduced into the diet of 10-month-old mice. After 11 months of keeping on such a diet, the researchers came to the conclusion that it not only increases the life expectancy of animals, but also significantly improves the condition of their skin and fur compared to animals of the control group.

Analysis of gene expression of bacteria inhabiting the intestines of mice showed that the presence of bacteria of the LKM512 strain changes the composition of the microflora, having an indirect effect on the state of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, taking LKM512 prevented a number of age-related changes in the bacterial composition of the intestinal microflora observed in animals of the control group.

The intestinal mucosa acts as a barrier, with bacteria and digested food on one side, and the rest of the body on the other. Violation of this barrier can lead to the development of infectious and inflammatory diseases. The researchers found that the use of bacteria of the LKM512 strain enhances the protective properties of the intestinal mucosa of mice by increasing the expression of various proteins that ensure the strength of contacts between epithelial cells.

Compared to the aging mice of the control group (left), the bacteria of the LKM512 strain provide a good condition of the lining of the inner surface of the intestine
the mucous membrane of aging animals of the experimental group (right).

Moreover, in the intestines of mice of the experimental group, an increased content of polyamines was detected – chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, the concentration of which in the body usually decreases as the body ages. Apparently, the increase in the concentration of polyamines caused by taking LKM512 caused a significant decrease in the concentration of inflammatory markers in the blood and urine of aging animals, indicating a decrease in the severity of the inflammatory status characteristic of old age.

The authors hope to find out the effectiveness of LKM512 in relation to humans. If the data obtained in experiments on mice are confirmed by the results of clinical studies, the introduction of bacteria of the LKM512 strain into the diet will not only increase human life expectancy, but also improve the health of people who have already reached old age.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of RIKEN: Boosting longevity with good bacteria


Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version