Your microbiome—the environment in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract where billions of healthy probiotic bacteria thrive—is “ground zero” for your health.
For example, a healthy microbiome with lots of “good” bacteria protects you against the aging process—including chronic inflammation, heart problems, cognitive decline, high blood sugar, and weight gain. On the flip side, a disturbance to your GI microbiome with too many “bad” bacteria often signals a larger, systemic problem—such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, or Type II diabetes.
Fortunately, there’s one simple, yet powerful way to boost the “good” bacteria in your gut…and, as a result, significantly slow down the aging process. Let’s take a look…
Aging and disease starts in your gut
In a brand-new study published in the journal Gut, researchers followed about 600 men and women, ages 65 to 79, from five countries (France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and the U.K.) over 12 months. At the study’s outset, the researchers categorized the participants as pre-frail, frail, or not frail.
Then, they assigned the participants to either continue eating their usual diets or to follow a Mediterranean diet for 12 months.
It turns out, those who followed the Mediterranean diet for 12 months experienced:
- An overall improvement in the diversity of their gut bacteria.
- Significant increases in “good” bacteria, which acted as keystone probiotics crowding out the “bad” bacteria.
- Increases in bacteria associated with healthy aging—including less frailty, faster walking speed, stronger hand-grip strength, and improved brain function.
- Reductions in “bad” bacteria associated with harmful inflammation.
- Reductions in bacteria that produce bile acids linked to cellular damage, colon cancer, fatty liver, and insulin resistance.
The researchers also made another interesting observation…
At the start of the study, the participants exhibited some distinct differences in the make-up of their microbiomes—depending upon their respective countries of origin. But the beneficial changes to the gut were similar and consistent among all the participants on the Medi diet after 12 months—regardless of their country of origin.
Plus, they found that the men and women who followed a poor, unbalanced diet had:
- Less diversity of gut bacteria.
- Increases in “bad” bacteria.
- Acceleration of the onset of frailty.
- More chronic, systemic inflammation.
- Increases in “bad” bacteria associated with cell damage, insulin resistance, and disease.
Unfortunately, this kind of poor, unbalanced diet is all too common among older people. Especially those in hospitals and long-term care facilities…
“Quick fixes” don’t work—and can even cause harm
Now, I know some people still think they can get a quick fix and obtain all the same health benefits by just popping a probiotic supplement.
But they’re wrong.
Probiotic supplements just don’t work. For one, even if they survive in the bottle on the shelf, most probiotics supplements can’t survive the assault from stomach acids long enough to do any good in your microbiome. Plus, as I reported a few years ago, some research now suggests that taking a probiotic supplement can cause serious cognitive problems.
Healthy aging starts with a good diet
In the end, I suggest you continue to follow a delicious, balanced Mediterranean-type diet that will naturally help you ward off disease and support healthy aging.
Here’s a reminder of what you can enjoy on this diet:
- Full-fat dairy (including organic whole milk, cheeses, yogurts, and butter)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Organic, grass-fed and -finished meats
- Wild-caught fish and seafood
- Olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar (which lower TMAO)
- Alcohol, in moderation (especially red wine, which also lowers TMAO)
The Mediterranean diet also contains plenty of “prebiotic” foods that feed the healthy probiotic bacteria in your gut, including:
- Whole grains
Of course, the researchers in this new study again failed to emphasize the importance of full-fat dairy in the Mediterranean diet. But that’s probably because it doesn’t fit into the politically correct narrative.
So, strive to eat a serving of cheese, yogurt, and some other type of full-fat dairy at every meal—just as they do in the Mediterranean region. Because fermented foods like cheeses and yogurts are natural sources of healthy probiotic bacteria—which nourish and support your GI microbiome.
Of course, in addition to following a healthy diet, there are many other natural strategies that can help you stay vibrant, youthful, and healthy well into your 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond. In fact, I present them all them in my online learning protocol, The Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age.” If you’d like to learn more, or enroll today, simply click here.
“Mediterranean diet intervention alters the gut microbiome in older people reducing frailty and improving health status: the NU-AGE 1-year dietary intervention across five European countries.” Gut 2020;69:1218-1228. doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2019-319654