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Researchers suggest gut microbiome modulates people's age

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-12 15:10
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BEIJING -- Chinese researchers have proposed that gut microbiome is an important factor in determining the age of a human body and revealed its potential impact on regulating metabolic aging, according to a recent research article published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Insight into the associations between the gut microbiome, metabolism and aging is crucial for tailoring interventions aimed at promoting healthy longevity, the article noted.

Researchers from the Ruijin Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and BGI Research conducted a study involving 10,207 individuals aged between 40 and 93. Using 21 metabolic parameters, they categorized those individuals into five clusters, termed metabolic multimorbidity clusters, that represent different metabolic subphenotypes.

Compared to the cluster classified as metabolically healthy, clusters classified as "obesity-related mixed" and "hyperglycemia" exhibited an increased 11.1-year cardiovascular disease risk by 75 percent and 117 percent, respectively. These associations were replicated in a second cohort of 9,061 individuals with a 10-year follow-up.

Through in-depth analysis of the fecal metagenomic data of 4,491 randomly selected individuals, the researchers found that gut microbial composition was associated with both metabolic multimorbidity clusters and age.

Among individuals aged 60 years or above, the increased cardiovascular disease risk associated with "obesity-related mixed" clusters or "hyperglycemia" clusters was exacerbated in individuals with high gut microbial age but diminished in individuals with low gut microbial age, independent of factors like age, gender, lifestyle and diet.

This pattern, in which younger gut microbial age appears to counteract the cardiovascular disease risk attributable to metabolic dysfunction, implies a modulating role of gut microbial age in cardiovascular health for metabolically unhealthy older people.

The results suggested that gut microbial age as a biomarker might be a promising predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.

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