The last two decades have seen rapid improvements in the field of medical sciences. With the developments in the modern day technologies an increase in the number of aged population has taken place. The human race suffers from a wide array of health disorders that are mainly associated with aging. Some of the important complications with aging are osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, immunological compromised situations and many more. Studies have found that the human diet and lifestyle have major contributory roles to play in the early aging and related complicacies. A good balanced diet, healthy lifestyle habits and the supplementation of probiotics can be employed to increase the lifespan of individuals and render them the property of healthy aging with lessened age associated complications.
Aging And Related Theories:
The ends of the human chromosomes contain some buffering structures called the telomeres. Now with each cell cycle during the DNA replication process the telomeres wears out and results in shortening. It is now an established fact that the shortening of the telomere is the major driving force behind the process of early aging. The telomeres can be on the other hand lengthened by the enzyme telomerase whose activity is inhibited by a number of factors associated with the modern day individuals.
The human beings are now increasingly exposed to conditions of stress which can interfere with the normal functioning of the telomerase leading to shortened telomeres. In addition, lifestyle hazards like smoking can promote oxidative damage to telomerase resulting in accelerated telomere shortening. Besides, the reactive oxygen species generated by a number of factors can promote aging in other independent pathways. The aforesaid processes also lead to lower inflammatory responses which stimulate aging and related disorders of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. There are studies to suggest that the inhibition of the lowered responses of inflammation can be critical in effectuating longevity.
Association of Aging And Gut Microbiota:
The human gut have been found to be inhabited by ~1000 different species of microorganisms with the total cell numbers even exceeding the combined count of the human somatic and germ cells. This certainly suggests a greater role for the intestine residing microbiota. It is now being established that the microorganisms play significant part in the maintenance of human health. Recent reports reveal that the role of the microbiota in the control of early aging and accelerating telomeres cannot be ignored.
In healthy human individuals, a fine homeostatic balance exists between the immune responses and the gut microbes. There are also reports that prove that the improvement in the inflammatory responses by the resurrection in the level of human microbiota whose number undergoes significant deterioration with increasing age can lead to longevity.
Instances of Probiotic Administration And Improvements:
Elie Metchnikoff had suggested nearly 100 years back for the effectiveness of the probiotics in the prevention of aging. He himself practiced the regular intake of fermented milk that contained probiotic bacteria to improve his health and gain longevity. However, his claims were not followed up in the subsequent generations and the field lacked thorough research and application of the anti-aging benefits of the probiotics to humans was far from realized.
However, a recent rejuvenated interest in the utilization of this aspect of health benefit rendered by the probiotic beneficial bacteria has shifted the focus of the scientific community towards this domain of age reversal. According to a recent report published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the administration of the probiotic strains of the lactococcal origin can cause significant improvements in providing longevity and alleviation of age related disorders. The study also supported the claims that the strains could inhibit age related disorders like decline in bone density, metabolic diseases, etc.
In addition, some of the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have been reportedly found to be involved in rendering longevity probably through their immunomodulatory effects. In yet another study by the group of Benno in Japan, it was demonstrated that the supplementation of individuals with the probiotic products containing Bifidobacterium animalis strains could lengthen their lifespan through the synthesis of certain essential compounds that has anti-oxidant activities and can aid in enhancing the activity of telomerases.
Mechanism of Action:
The anti-oxidants are increasingly finding their application as anti aging agents. A number of compounds that even involves natural plant extracts are being tried out to this effect. Although these compounds can provide anti-aging benefits but the side effects that is associated with them cannot be done away with. Hence, the search for a more justified natural way to effectuate the process. The probiotics can actually become a part of the human body while rendering their effects, a property which is critical in their selection to provide anti-aging effects. A number of vitamins have been reported with anti-oxidant activities. The telomerase activity is enhanced upon the administration of anti-oxidants. The probiotics are potent producers of a number of vitamins.
According to some studies, the probiotics like the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains also possess the ability to enhance the synthesis of polyamines. The polyamines are generally required for the synthesis of RNA, protein and DNA and as such intricately associated with the normal growth and functioning of the cells. They are potent anti-oxidant agents that can scavenge the ROS generated by the oxygen exposure. In essence it can reactivate the functional activities of the essential enzymes. The polyamines have also been associated with the correction of the misbalanced intestinal immunity barrier. It can bring about the recovery of the damaged DNA as well as prevent them from getting damaged. All these activities have been linked to the ultimate goal of achieving longevity.
With all the essential beneficial effects needed to bring about the changes required for the age reversal, the probiotics can definitely be applied as anti-aging agents. Before their application in this role, proper clinical trials should be carried out. Also, the righteous combination of the probiotic strains should be selected to bring about the desired changes. Nonetheless, the probiotics can be crucial in the coming days to gain that fountain of youth.