Secret of Youth May Be Found in... Mouse Feces
Who said that breaking the spell of aging would be easy? There is no such thing as disgust when you are a scientists trying to hack biology, it seems.
Transplating fecal microbes from younger mices to older mices appeared to reduce the effects of aging in the latter, according to a new study
This fecal exchange, the researchers noted, reversed the key effects of aging in the guts, eyes, and brains of the older animals. Moreover, it works the other way as well, with feces transfer from old animals into young ones prompting the latter to show signs of aging like increased inflammation in the brain and a reduction in a key protein needed for normal vision.
"Here, we tested the hypothesis that manipulating the intestinal microbiota influences the development of major comorbidities associated with ageing and, in particular, inflammation affecting the brain and retina," the authors of the study wrote in the published paper.
Increased brain inflammation, as well as the retinas in the eyes, is what can happen to us as we get older, but it looks like "younger" microbes can reduce this effect - at least when it comes to mice.
However, it might be too early to proclaim the "poop transfer" an eternal youth recipe, since researchers have to dig deeper into how exactly the mixture of microbes in our bellies impact our health - both physical and mental.