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A Fecal Microbiota Transplant to Treat Aging

Image credit: Stephanie Rossow/CDC

Jamila Aug 05, 2020

[1]Lynch, Susan V., and Oluf Pedersen. "The human intestinal microbiome in health and disease." New England Journal of Medicine 375.24 (2016): 2369-2379.

[2]Biagi, Elena, et al. "Gut microbiota and extreme longevity." Current Biology 26.11 (2016): 1480-1485.

[3]Bárcena, Clea, et al. "Healthspan and lifespan extension by fecal microbiota transplantation into progeroid mice." Nature medicine 25.8 (2019): 1234-1242.

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General comments

Yahi Menezes
Yahi Menezes6 months ago
An alternative approach to change the gut microbiota profile, aiming to increase diversity and amount of anti-ageing microbial strains, could be by targeting food intake in the long term (1). Considering the above, not only physiological aspects of the human individual itself could be targeted in an "anti-ageing diet" (which may already be a common approach), but also the microbial profile should be considered, since there's evidence that changes in dietary profile cause changes in gut microbiota profile (1,2). Still, I wonder: how much is the contribution of our associated microbiota to our own physiology (including ageing aspects)? How dynamic is this contribution in the same individual? I believe it's hard to separate which aspects of a particular phenotypic trait is the result of "our own body" or the associated organisms in order to determine a therapeutic target (at least prior to testing the specific therapy), but these are just some general issues to consider when studying a holobiont like us... 1 - https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1600266 2 - https://www.europeanreview.org/article/11780
Jamila 6 months ago
Yes, we may be able to use our dietary intake to modulate the abundance of certain bacteria. In one study, it was found that a chicken‐protein‐based diet increased the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila compared to a soy-based diet which actually reduced the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201900589) We might also be able to use oral supplements containing bacteria instead of FMT. In the study mentioned earlier about the progeroid mice, Bárcena and colleagues also did experiments using oral supplements. Progeria mice that were given oral supplements containing Akkermansia muciniphila had significantly increased lifespans compared to the progeria controls. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-019-0504-5) So perhaps an anti-aging probiotic drink containing certain bacterial species that are abundant in long-lived individuals could be developed.