People have been giving their testimonies about the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet towards promoting cardiac health. However, the scarcity of facts about the impact of the diet on the aging process is glaring within the science community. As a result, researchers from the University of Cork led a team of investigators to find out the effects of the Mediterranean diet on the aging population.
The study conducted across five countries found out that doing the Mediterranean diet for a year enhances the performance of the gut bacteria associated with healthy aging. They also found that it shrinks the number of those linked to unhealthy inflammation in old people.
The researchers put their conclusions in print through an article titled “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.”
“Aging comes with the decline of multiple body functions and inflammation which jointly promote frailty. Our team of investigators and we have discovered that feebleness correlates with changes in the gut microbiota in a way fast-tracked by consuming a restricted diversity diet,” the researchers noted.
Past research proposes that a poor regimen, which isn’t uncommon among the aging population, lessens the diversity of the microbiota, leading to the acceleration of aging.
Recently, the scientists embarked on verifying whether a Mediterranean diet may improve the microbiome of older people. In hopes of slowly down the process of aging. The research was carried out across five countries (France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and the U.K.) over a 12-month period, and it was designed specifically for the elderly subjects.
The age of individuals used for the research ranged from 65 to 79; their gut biomes were analyzed before and after placing them on the regimen. The participants were grouped into three categories: frail, on the verge of frailty, or not frail.
Interestingly, the 12-month diet had a huge positive impact on their gut biomes. A more detailed analysis showed that the changes were a result of an in the bacteria associated with the production of useful short-chain fatty acids.
Furthermore, the microbes that multiplied with the introduction of the Mediterranean diet performed as “cornerstone” species, which implies they are important for a steady “gut environment,” eliminating other microbes related to frailty. The transformations were generally determined by addition in dietary fiber and other nutrients and minerals—particularly B6, B9, C, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Noticeably, the discoveries have nothing to do with the individual’s age or weight, the two of which impact the composition of the microbiome. And keeping in mind that there were slight differences in the make-up of an individual’s gut microbiome, depending on the individual’s nation of origin, the reaction to the Mediterranean diet after the research period was comparable and stable, regardless of nationality.
The researchers pointed out that aging people experience dental problems, so it is not viable to have them eat a Mediterranean diet. However, the beneficial bacteria associated with this study might improve their chances of combating frailty.