The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from Microbial Ecology Group, "Disturbance in this microbial balance can have negative consequences for health resulting in elevated inflammation and infection, that are contributory factors in diabetes and cancer.
There is a growing awareness that the microbial balance in the colon may become increasingly perturbed with aging and therefore hasten the onset of certain diseases. Societal and dietary factors influence microbial community composition both in the short and long term in the elderly (>65 years old) whilst immunosenescence may also be linked to a perturbed distal gut microbiota and frailty in the elderly.
Significant progress has been made in defining some of the dominant members of the microbial community in the healthy large intestine and in identifying their roles in metabolism. There is therefore an urgent need for better awareness of the impact of diet, prebiotic and probiotic strategies in driving human colonic microbial composition in order to understand the possibilities for maintaining healthy gut function and well-being in an increasingly elderly population."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Here we review gut microbial changes associated with aging and how diet, prebiotics and probiotics may modulate the gut microbiota to maintain health in the elderly."
For more information on this research see: Probiotics and prebiotics and health in ageing populations. Maturitas, 2013;75(1):44-50. Maturitas can be contacted at: Elsevier Ireland Ltd, Elsevier House, Brookvale Plaza, East Park Shannon, Co, Clare, 00000, Ireland. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Maturitas - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/505954)
Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S.H. Duncan, Rowett Inst Nutr & Hlth, Microbial Ecol Grp, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, United Kingdom (see also Prebiotics).
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