“Everyone is the age of their heart.”
– Guatemalan Proverb
A joyful old-age
After Japan and South Korea, Quebec is one of the societies with more people accessing advanced stages of life1. Despite this great fortune, statistics on the aging population are not always very encouraging. We are informed about diseases associated with aging, the cognitive decline that occurs over time, the consequent loss of autonomy … And what if we were to bet on the prevention of senescence, by protecting an extremely precious system in the body: the imposing digestive tract?! The intestines constantly communicate with the immune system and the nervous system … it’s a center of activity that affects the whole organism. Have you paid attention to how it works recently? Of course, digestive problems can occur at any age, but almost 40% of people aged 65 and over have at least one symptom of indigestion, which can greatly affect their health as well as their quality of life2.
A Healthy microbiota goes hand in hand with longevity
The term microbiota represents all the microorganisms that reside in the body. In the human host, bacteria congregate in different parts of the body: the mouth and throat, the nose, the intestinal tract, the skin, the urogenital parts, and so on3. The largest and most important intestinal microbiota contains tens of trillions of microorganisms and at least a thousand different bacterial species with more than three million genes3. One-third of this population of “permanent residents” is common from one individual to another, while the other two-thirds is our own and constitutes our personal microbiota3. The portion is specific to each person comes from our parents, our diet and how we age4. The understanding of how the microbiota works has lead us to a deeper knowledge of its impact on our health, we now know that a microbiotic imbalance will put the health of the human host at risk.
More precisely, the bacterial equilibrium is disturbed when:
- The bacterial profile changes because bad bacteria take over, chasing the good bacteria (as in the case of various infections)
- Bacterial diversity is depleted because of the predominance of some strains and the extinction of others (for example, during excess weight or a deficient diet)
- Bacterial populations are less abundant, with the decline of good and bad species (such as bacterial decrease after taking antibiotics).
Probiotics in all of this?
We know that a varied diet, rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates can improve the bacterial diversity of the body and promote the survival of beneficial bacteria5. In addition to a healthy diet, being smoke-free and drug-free, as well as moderating alcohol consumption to limited amounts, are all good habits for a healthy microbiota. Probiotic supplements also make the microbiota flourish, providing a safe and effective strategy to counter a number of issues, including:
- Digestive disorders (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc.) 6
- Degenerative diseases (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) 7
- Autoimmune reactions (allergies and eczema) 8
- Inflammatory diseases (ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome) 9
- Infections of all kinds (respiratory, urinary, genital, ear, among others) 10
- Overweight and metabolic disorders (obesity, diabetes, eating disorders …) 11
- Dermatological problems (wrinkles, dryness of the skin, photosensitivity and others) 12
The mechanisms of action of probiotics on human systems are multiple, in particular; 1) they improve the impermeability of our intestinal barrier to protect itself from foreign toxins and bacteria, 2) they defend us against pathogenic bacteria by competing for receptor sites and nutrients in our ecosystem, 3) they modulate our immune system and produce protective cytokines, 4) they regulate the peripheral nervous system by impacting our memory and our feeling of pain, among other essential functions in the body.
When it comes to choosing your probiotic, make sure you get the following guarantees:
- A multi-stem formula with Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli and other friendly bacteria to reflect the natural composition of the human probiotic flora (as found in all products of the Probaclac family)
- Appropriate strains adapted to your age, your physical condition and the composition of your intestinal flora to ensure you get the best formula of beneficial bacteria for you (for many, the Probaclac 50+ is quite appropriate at this stage of their lives)
- Convenient and adequate capsules to facilitate the use of the supplement and ensure that the strains have the ability to resist the acidity of the stomach (Probaclac probiotics are offered in freeze-dried capsules that are refrigeration free and that act from the administration)
- The ideal dosage, according to the recommendations of the Canadian Pediatric Society and Health Canada (Probaclac for Kids contains 3 billion active probiotic cells per capsule while Probaclac Extra-Strength contains 10.5 billion active cells).
Have some guts, charge your internal batteries and stay youthful… Your age will not show the years!
1Institut de la statistique du Québec. Vieillissement comparé du Québec et des pays de l’OCDE : le baby-boom québécois continuera de laisser sa trace. Consulté le 4 février 2018. [Site web]. http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/salle-presse/communique/communique-presse-2015/juin/juin1502b.html
2WebMD. Aging and digestive health. [Site web]. Consulté le 4 février 2018. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/digestive-health-aging#1
3Gut Microbiota for Health. What is gut microbiota ? Consulté le 4 février 2018. [Site web]. http://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/about-gut-microbiota-info/
4Benson AK, Kelly SA, Legge R, Ma F, Low SJ et al. Individuality in gut microbiome composition is a complex polygenic trait shaped by multiple environmental and host genetic factors. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2010 ; 107 : 18933-18938.
5Radio-Canada. Le microbiote : un allié contre l’obésité ? Consulté le 4 février 2018. [Site web]. http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/740901/microbiote-obesite-alimentation-intestin-epidemie
6Guarino A, Guandalini S et Lo Vecchio A. Probiotics for Prevention and Treatment of Diarrhea. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2015 ; 49 : s37-45.
7Akbari E, Asemi Z, Daneshvar Kakhaki R et al. Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Cognitive Function and Metabolic Status in Alzheimer’s Disease : A Randomized, Double-Blind and Controlled Trial. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016 ; 10 (8) : 26-30.
8West CE. Probiotics for allergy prevention. Benef Microbes. 2016 ; 7 (2) : 171-179.
9Brenner DM, Moeller MJ, Chey WD et Schoenfeld PS. The utility of probiotics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome : a systematic review. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 ; 104 (4) : 1033-1049.
10Bischoff, SC. Microbiota and aging. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2016 ; 19 (1) : 26-30..
11Sanchez M, Darimont C, Drapeau V, Emady-Azar S et al. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women. Br J Nutr. 2014 ; 111(8) : 1507-1519.
12Sharma D, Kober MM et Bowe WP. Anti-Aging Effects of Probiotics. J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 ; 1 : 9-12.