The physicians at Synergy Longevity Centers are pleased to announce that advanced gastrointestinal testing is now available to assess your microbiome – but what exactly is the microbiome? And how is it connected to longevity?
The human body is host to a vast number of beneficial microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes, collectively known as the microbiome. The largest and most diverse community of these microbes resides in the gut, and are known as the gut microbiota. A study published in 2016 estimated that a typical human body is made up of approximately 30 trillion human cells AND 38 trillion microbial cells, most of which are bacteria residing in the gut. Yes you read that right – essentially each one of us is composed of more non-human cells than human cells!
The gut microbiome is increasingly recognized as a key player in overall health and longevity. It plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including digestion, nutrient absorption, immune function, and inflammation regulation. For instance, certain bacterial species are known to produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for gut health. Moreover, the gut microbiome can influence the process of aging via its interaction with other biological factors like telomere length, oxidative stress, and epigenetic changes.
Alterations in the gut microbiome, often referred to as dysbiosis, have been linked to numerous health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even neurodegenerative diseases, all of which can impact lifespan.
Using advanced stool testing we can now obtain a detailed look at the composition of your individual microbiome and then treat any abnormalities found using predominantly herbs and supplements.
Telomeres and Longevity
As mentioned above the gut microbiome can affect telomere length. Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, and their length is often used as a biomarker of cellular aging. Shorter telomeres are associated with aging and age-related diseases.
Dysbiosis, or imbalance in the gut microbiome, can lead to chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress, both of which can accelerate telomere shortening. Certain harmful bacteria in the gut can trigger inflammatory responses, while beneficial bacteria can produce anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. The gut microbiome also plays a crucial role in metabolism, including the metabolism of nutrients that are important for maintaining telomere length. For example, certain gut bacteria can produce or influence the absorption of folate (Vitamin B9) and other B vitamins, which are needed for the synthesis and maintenance of DNA, including telomeres. Also some research suggests that the gut microbiome might directly influence the activity of telomerase, which is the enzyme that adds DNA sequences to the ends of telomeres and thus helps maintain their length.
Evaluating and understanding your microbiome is crucial, because it plays such a critical role in longevity as well as digestion, nutrient absorption, immune function, and inflammation regulation.
Interested in finding out more about gut health testing? Fill out our contact form here or call 248-470-3380.