We are what we eat. In any case, this is what the proverb says. Scientists object: we are what the bacteria living in our intestines eat. They also determine how much we should live. Starting from this, McGill University scientists fed fruit flies with various probiotics and additives that allowed to prolong the life of flies by 60% and protected them from chronic diseases associated with aging.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, is another of a list of studies that speak in favor of the effect of intestinal bacteria on health. In the diet of fruit flies, scientists added a synthetic biotic – an additive made from probiotics, enriched with polyphenol.
Flies fed with a synbiotic lived up to 66 days – 26 days more than those that did not receive an additive. They also demonstrated a decrease in signs of aging, such as lowering insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress.
“Probiotics radically change the structure of the intestinal microflora, not only in the composition, but also about how the foods we eat are metabolized,” says Satya Prakash, professor of biomedical engineering at McGill University School of Medicine and senior author of the study. “This allows one probiotic formulation to simultaneously influence several biochemical signaling pathways and explains why the single formulation presented in the article has such an impact on a variety of different markers.”
The fruit fly has an amazing similarity with mammals in 70% of the biochemical pathways, which allows us to hope that similar results can be achieved with humans, adds Prakash.
“Influence on people is unlikely to be so dramatic, but our results definitely indicate that a diet that includes Triphala along with these probiotics will contribute to a long and healthy life.”
The authors also say that these results can explain the “cerebral axis”, a bi-directional system of communication between microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain. Over the past few years, studies have shown that the cerebral axis is involved in neuropathological changes and in a number of diseases, such as neurodegeneration and even depression. In some studies, even successfully managed to design changes in microflora that have a lot of positive effects, as well as the formulation presented in the new study.