Probiotics, along with a host of other microorganisms, are so crucial to your health that researchers have compared them to "a newly recognized organ." In fact, your microflora – a term used to describe the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes that make up your microbial inner ecosystem – impact far more than your digestive tract.
Mounting research indicate the bacterial colonies residing in your gut may play key roles in the development of cancer, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and even brain-, behavioral- and emotional problems like ADHD, autism and depression.
Recent research also shows that your diet, and subsequently the microorganisms present in your gut, can affect how well you age.
The study was published in the journal Nature1, and some of the findings were surprising: the microflora in persons in long-term care not only was less diverse, but significantly correlated with measures of frailty, co-morbidity, markers of inflammation and other factors that contribute to aging and death. According to the authors, the implications of these findings are that senior citizens may need certain dietary supplements to improve their microbial health.
Probiotics Become Increasingly Important as You Age
Previous research has shown that around age 60, there is a significant drop in the number of bacteria in your gut. According to Dr Sandra McFarlane from the microbiology and gut biology group at the University of Dundee, people over 60 typically have about 1,000-fold less "