A new study has found out that taking a Mediterranean diet for a year can improve the microbiome of elderly people, which helps in longevity. It says that Mediterranean food improves brain function as well. This type of diet produces provocative chemicals, which can prevent many life-threatening diseases like cancer, and diabetes. Mediterranean food reduces the risk of atherosclerosis as well. The finding of the study backs the viability of changing the usual diet to modulate the gut microbiota, which promotes healthy aging. This study has been published in the BMJ journal gut. Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world.
Medical science says that around 60 tons of food pass through the average human’s digestive system in a lifetime. This exposes our internal space to billions of bacteria along with those we are born with. Many of these minuscule mortals are responsible for our nutrients absorption, the functioning of the immune system and metabolism levels. Experts say that as humans start to age the type and amount of microbes are reduced with time. Elderly people who live alone or in long-term residential care are subjected to a poor quality diet. Health and dental issues are also the reason for elderly people’s poor diet. As the variety of bacteria reduces, ‘inflamm-aging’ starts in the body, which accounts for age, related inflammatory process. Inflammatory processes lead to diseases like cancer, neurological disorders, and other ailments.
Experts involved around 612 elderly people from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the UK in the study. Initially, they kept 323 elderly people on a special diet for a year. Afterward, they observed their gut microbiome. The special diet was based on the Mediterranean diet, which involves fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil, red meat, sugar, saturated fat, and fish. Rests of the participants under the age group of 65 to 79 years were kept on their regular diet for 12 months. After one year, people who ate a Mediterranean diet showed improved microbiome in their digestive system as compared to others. The reduction of good bacteria was slowed down. The production of harmful inflammatory markers such as C reactive protein and interleukin-17 was trimmed down as well. Experts also witnessed the growth of bacteria, which is useful to improve brain function. The special diet also boosted keystone species, which is critical for the stable gut ecosystem.