Posted on: November 8th, 2022

Recent research published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging demonstrated the gut (specifically the intestinal) microbiome plays a major role in the metabolic process that may affect cognition, general body composition, and the immune system.

The research focused on modulating the effects of related metabolic processes to learn about how they contribute to healthy aging.

What is Frailty Syndrome?

Frailty Syndrome is a condition commonly found in geriatric patients that embodies a generally elevated risk of health issues and decline. Symptoms commonly associated with Frailty Syndrome include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Notable slowing down (activities taking much longer than they should)
  • Difficulties with formerly easy tasks

Frailty syndrome has been linked to sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and many types of muscle weakness associated with aging. Frailty Syndrome has been identified as a risk factor for dementia.

Ongoing research into Frailty Syndrome has specifically focused on the combinations of factors that may lead to its development. Scientists agree that aging and major health conditions are large contributing factors to developing Frailty Syndrome but are still researching how FS causes issues for major systems throughout the body.

Gut Microbiota & Frailty Syndrome

Gut microbiotas are grouped into three enterotypes; Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Ruminococcus. These enterotypes constitute the main gut microbiome and appear similarly in various age groups. Gut microbiomes are also modulated by epithelial morphology, genetic characteristics of the host, epithelial immune components, and exposure to external compounds. 

Aging impacts intestinal permeability, which modifies microbes and metabolites in circulation, affecting the immune system. Aging influences the brain-intestine axis and the intestinal microflora, which in turn, affects the gut microbiome via a bidirectional relationship. 

The microbes in the gut react to stressors that affect immune responses. Age also alters activities of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA)––evident through the modifications in circadian cortisol levels.

Malnutrition predisposes individuals to cognitive frailty and affects cognitive problems associated with frailty syndrome. Deficiencies of nearly all micronutrients are a characteristic of Frailty Syndrome.

Supplementation to help Frailty Syndrome is easily achievable. Antioxidants eliminate free radicals, thereby decreasing the oxidative stress that is associated with a decrease in cognitive function.

Probiotic & Prebiotic Supplementation for Frailty Syndrome

Changes to lifestyles and diets can aid in the long-term maintenance of healthy gut microbiota, which can help with healthy aging and avoiding Frailty Syndrome. Preventing malnutrition and improving gut-microbiome composition go a long way in preventing frailty as the aging process sets in. Probiotic and prebiotic supplementation offers a modality in such intervention.

While supplementation may not ‘cure’ Frailty Syndrome directly, it can be beneficial toward the treatment of conditions that may lead to FS if left untreated.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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