Many people might have noticed much greater strength of muscles in older adults. Recent research has discovered that the cause behind this is the higher amount of gut bacteria in their body.
The findings of the study appear in the journal Experimental Gerontology.
Reduction of lean mass in germ-free mice
Firstly they administered the bacteria from the caecum of healthy mice into the GF mice. On doing this, they observed that the germ-free mice started showing a reduction in loss of lean mass.
Researchers selected 18 older adults who were physically fit and also had a favorable physical function. They also chose 11 more adults who were not physically fit and did not have a good body composition.
Secondly, researchers studied the bacterial profiles of the two groups. They observed the same bacterial content after administrating the mice with the fecal matter of the two groups. Mice began showing increased grip strength after fecal colonizing from the healthy older adults.
The findings suggest that the gut microbiome must be playing a special role in increasing the muscle strength of older adults.
When researchers compared the lower functioning older group with the healthy one, researchers found that the health group had colonies of good bacterial species. They observed a similar bacterial colony in those mice that had fecal samples from the older healthy adults.
The bacterial colonies include Prevotellaceae, Prevotella, Barnesiella, and Barnesiella intestinihominis.
Michael Lustgarten explains how they failed to identify the role of gut microbiome in maintaining the body composition. However, now they know that gut bacteria plays key role in maintaining the muscle strength especially in older people.
Prevotella’s role in increasing muscle strength
Researchers said prevotella has the potential to increase muscle strength. Now the researchers aim to increase its levels in the gut microbiome of older adults. Researchers are eager to know if this would work in older adults or not.
Michael Lustgarten, author, and researcher at Nutrition, Exercise Physiology & Sarcopenia (NEPS) Laboratory explained.
Roger the first author and Fielding director of the NEPS Laboratory at the HNRCA explains how lean muscle mass, favorable body composition, and muscle strength decreases.
The study between healthy older adults and gut microbiome has helped the researchers to understand the importance of the gut microbiome and its positive relation with aging. However, this was a small scale study.
In order to carry out the study, researchers measured mobility, strength, functioning level and amount of lean fat in both the groups. They observed them for one-month. They also measured body composition and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging in mice. Researchers took their physical tests too.
After administrating the fecal sample into the mice, researchers measured the body composition. Later, they also meausred gut microbiome of the mice. They made comparisons between the 18 colonized mice from healthy adults and 18 colonized mice from unhealthy adults.
The author explains that on comparing with the low functioning colonized mice the researchers noticed an increase of 6.4% in grip strength in the high functional colonized mice.
In contrast, despite the differences in the percentages between the whole body lean mass and muscle functioning, fecal donors did not had much difference between whole body lean mass and their treadmill endurance when it was compared with the mice who had human microbiome.
In conclusion, the research highlights the importance of gut bacteria and healthy aging. It may also reduce future deaths per year which have risen to 2,067,404.