The old saying goes, “you’re only as young as you feel.” And while that may be true, some things about aging can’t be ignored—like the importance of probiotics for your health.
It’s no secret that probiotics are good for you. But did you know they’re especially beneficial for seniors? Here’s why older folks should be loading up on probiotics every day.
If you haven’t heard of probiotics before, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Simply put, probiotics are friendly bacteria and yeasts that live in your gut microbiome and promote healthy digestion.
Probiotics help your body digest food more efficiently and support your immune system in fighting off harmful bacteria, pathogens, and infections. Your microbiome consists of trillions of microbes that include helpful probiotics and less-friendly viruses, parasites, and fungi.
Recent studies show that your gut microbiome plays a role in aging, and researchers are now beginning to understand how it works. This fascinating area of study sheds light on the importance of maintaining a healthy gut microbiome as we age.
An Aging Microbiome
As we age, our microbiomes become depleted of healthy probiotics. The main culprits point to diet and lifestyle choices, medications, particularly antibiotics, and increased stress levels. The various species of microbes in your gut microbiome change as you get older. These changes lead to increased digestive issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
The digestive system produces less gastric, pancreatic, and other liquids as we age, also affecting the healthy population of probiotics in the microbiome. (1) Which in turn results in poor nutrient absorption and an impaired immune system.
When these probiotics become depleted, it leaves room for unhealthy microbes – viruses, pathogens, and fungi – to move in and take over. Harmful microbes can wreak havoc on the digestive system and cause various unpleasant symptoms.
Additionally, unwanted molecules may be released into the circulatory system (a.k.a. leaky gut), causing adverse outcomes for the rest of the body. Numerous local and systemic issues are associated with gut health decline, including occasional gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, poor elimination, fatigue, and headaches.
There has long been a suspicion that the microbiome plays a role in aging. Evidence shows that specific microbes and diversity are more abundant in people 65+ who are fit and physically active than those who are less fit. Frail individuals also tend to have a less diverse microbiome.
A study analyzing the gut microbiomes of 9,000 people ranging from 18 to 101 showed that older folks with more gut microbe diversity had better mobility, had more beneficial blood metabolites, and lived longer. (2)
How To Keep Your Microbiome Healthy
Fortunately, there are ways to bolster the health of your gut microbiome. Eating prebiotic-rich foods such as bananas and onions helps feed the probiotics living in your gut so they can do their job effectively.
Adding probiotic-rich fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt into your diet can help boost levels of beneficial bacteria. Limiting your intake of processed foods will also go a long way toward keeping your microbiome balanced and healthy.
Making sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day ensures that all those good bacteria remain alive and well.
Taking a quality probiotic supplement like Stonehenge Health® Dynamic Biotics™ ensures your microbiome remains lush with helpful probiotics and your digestive system stays in tip-top shape.
The benefits for older adults when your digestive system is healthy include:
• Improved digestive health
• Better nutrient absorption from food sources
• Reduced risk of infection from bad bacteria or viruses
• Increased energy levels due to improved vitamin absorption from food sources
• Improved mental clarity
• In addition to all these benefits, probiotics can help reduce inflammation throughout your body.
It’s important to remember that aging comes with its own set of challenges. That’s why older adults need to ensure they are getting enough probiotic-rich foods in their diet and supplementing with a high-quality probiotic supplement like Stonehenge Health® Dynamic Biotics™.
There are so many ways adding extra-friendly probiotic bacteria into your diet can benefit your long-term health—so don’t wait any longer! Start taking steps towards improving your gut health today.
1 Gut Health and Aging: How to Improve Digestion in Old Age | agingcare.com/Articles/The-Aging-Digestive-System-Maintaining-Gut-Health-as-You-Age-211926.htm
2. Unique gut microbiome patterns linked to healthy aging, increased longevity | National Institute on Aging | nia.nih.gov/news/unique-gut-microbiome-patterns-linked-healthy-aging-increased-longevity