Fecal transplant may have anti-aging benefits, study finds

Fecal transplant may have anti-aging benefits, study finds

Move over, Mary Kay. There’s a new contender in the anti-aging arena, and he’s not for the faint of nose.

A fecal transplant is emerging as an unlikely hero in the quest for eternal youth. Yes, we’re serious. And so are researchers from the University of East Anglia [ang-glee-uh] whose recent study in mice showed that transplanting faecal [FEE-kuhl] microbiota from young mice into older mice could reverse aging trademarks in the gut, eyes and brain.

And, on the flip side, microbes from older mice depleted an essential protein needed for normal vision in younger mice.

For those unfamiliar, a fecal transplant, also referred to as a stool transplant, is the process of transferring fecal bacteria and other microbes from a healthy individual into another individual.

Although significantly less flashy than a heart transplant, these fecal transplant findings demonstrate that gut microbes play a big role in regulating some of the less-than-savory effects of old age, and open up doors for possible therapies to address decline in areas like vision and even brain function as people age.

A gathering body of evidence has linked humans’ gut microbiome to different health functions. Now, in ongoing studies, researchers are trying to determine how long those golden effects of fecal transplants can last, and the ways they impact organs that are farther away from the gut and site of fecal implantation.

Human gut bacteria also undergo their own changes as their hosts age. Until studies like this are replicated in elderly populations, however, it’s difficult to know if the results will translate. But when and if that happens, the proof will be in the poo — well, you know.

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