Active and sporty senior couple at the beach

In our last blog, we discussed the benefits that pregnant women and their newborns may experience through probiotic supplementation. But have you ever wondered what these powerful microbes could do for the aging body? Well, we’ve done some research, and the short answer is “a lot.” In fact, research would suggest that – as you age—these super helpers could enhance your health in more ways than one.

Reduction in Inflammation

For many, inflammation is understood as nothing more than an observable biological reaction to trauma. Inflammation is so much more than swollen ankles and goose eggs, though. Chances are, it’s happening on the inside of your body, without your knowledge, which begs the question:

“What is inflammation?”

“Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection; the aim being to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens – and begin the healing process,” explains Medical News Daily. While inflammation is essential to your health, too much inflammation can be detrimental to an aging immune system, leading to a condition known as “inflammaging.”

This often-hard-to-detect condition –caused by excessive inflammation—sends the immune system into a state of hyperactivity in which the process can begin doing more harm than good. Common effects of this condition include life-threatening cell damage, which can in turn cause everything from cancer and osteoporosis to Alzheimer’s.

The future isn’t entirely grim. According to recent studies, certain probiotic strains could help address the issue of excessive inflammation. So why do these microbes affect the elderly differently than their younger counterparts? According to the Huffington Post, “The trillions of bacteria in the intestines are known to play a role in inflammation particularly in the elderly. The key to optimal health is a strong diversity of species yet as people age the variety tends to drop.”

Like almost any treatment, there is no catchall solution. What this same article –and others like it—point out is that in order to maintain this diversified microbial species, ongoing supplementation is needed. The reason? These microbes are often only guests that take a short vacation through your digestive tract before exiting and requiring replenishing.

As we age, it becomes more important to remain proactive about our health. With such a wide spectrum of supplements and probiotic-rich foods available, it has become easier for consumers to have access to these health tools.

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