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GI Bacteria Diversity Integral to Health

Posted Sep 29 2013 10:07pm

Submitting that:  “We are facing a global metabolic health crisis provoked by an obesity epidemic,” Oluf Pedersen, from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and colleagues conducted DNA analysis on intestinal bacteria from 292 Danish patients, 169 of whom were obese and 123 who were not.  The researchers found that among the obese subjects, 23% had low "bacterial richness," with an average of 380,000 microbial genes, compared with an average of 640,000 genes in those who had more diverse microbiomes.  Subjects with less diverse gut bacteria also had greater adiposity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia and a more pronounced inflammatory phenotype than those with high bacterial richness.  Those subjects also gained significantly more weight over the previous 9 years.  The study authors submit that these correlations help to “identify subsets of individuals in the general white adult population who may be at increased risk of progressing to adiposity-associated co-morbidities.”

Emmanuelle Le Chatelier, Trine Nielsen, Junjie Qin, Edi Prifti, Falk Hildebrand, et al. “Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers.”  Nature 500, 541-546; 28 August 2013.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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