Aging is a regular part of life that is experienced along with its notable side-effects. A hallmark feature of aging is the onset of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is often considered “the secret killer”. For years, the exact mechanisms that caused the slow but ever-increasing amounts of inflammation were unknown to the scientific world. However, recent research suggests that the microbiome may be a significant contributing factor to age-related inflammation. The study[1] found that increased use of antibiotics and high amount of sugar and fat in the western diet deplete key components of the microbiome. Disruption of the microbiota leads to long-term activation of the immune system. It is also speculated that changes in the microbiome can increase the permeability of the intestine leading to leaky gut, a primary source of inflammation. This continuous activation of the immune system contributes to a “dramatic rise in the prevalence of chronic inflammatory disorders.”

Treatment for chronic inflammation has been shown to be a promising strategy for treating almost every age-related disorder, and increasing amounts of evidence show that through the healthy management of the microbiome, chronic inflammation may be able to be reduced. Currently, there are two possible methods of treating the microbiome: physical exercise and dietary supplementation with probiotics.  This will contribute to more healthy aging process and prevention of many age-related diseases such as arthritis and atherosclerosis.  Although more research should always be done in the future, the role of the microbiome in leading a healthier, longer life has become prevalent.

Buford, T. W. (2017). (Dis)Trust your gut: the gut microbiome in age-related inflammation, health, and disease. Microbiome, 5, 80. http://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-017-0296-0