The simple way to STOP this hidden aging accelerator
It’s no secret that as we age, our bodies change.
Our hair becomes thinner (or grayer), our skin becomes less supple and smooth, our bellies start to bulge over our waistline, and our muscles become less toned.
But did you know aging also occurs on the inside of your body?
And now—experts believe we all host a “hidden” aging accelerator?
In fact, most chronic diseases likely BEGIN there, too!
Fortunately, as I’ll explain in a moment, you CAN put the brakes on this destructive process. In doing so, you’ll also end up protecting your brain, supporting your liver, boosting your mood, and losing a few pounds…
When bad bugs take over
More than one trillion bacteria live in the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. And the composition of this massive, “hidden” community evolves over your lifetime—depending on the foods you eat, how much you exercise, the drugs you take, and even how much stress you face on a daily basis.
But researchers with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently discovered that experiencing specific changes to your microbiome could ACCELERATE the aging process… and even lead to an early death.1
To start, researchers looked at bacterial samples taken from the upper part of the digestive tract (not from stool) in 250 healthy adults between the ages 18 and 80.
(Interestingly, most digestion and nutrient absorption happens here. However, most biome studies only use stool samples, which aren’t as revealing.)
After analyzing the samples, the researchers came away with some important conclusions…
First, there was a strong link between accelerated aging and dysbiosis. Dysbiosis occurs when there’s a major shift or “imbalance” in the bacterial composition of the microbiome. And a number of factors can cause it—including a poor diet that’s high in sugar and low in fiber, food additives, infections, inflammation, and drugs (such as antibiotics).2
Further, researchers also linked an overabundance of “bad” bacteria and a decline in the gut’s overall bacterial diversity—two examples of gut imbalance—to the aging process.
More specifically, they pinpointed bad bacteria that can
cause disease in humans, including those from the
Enterococcaceae, Lactobacillaceae, and Enterobacteriaceae families—as well as the Bacteroides genus.
Previous studies have also found a relationship between low bacterial diversity and other health conditions. This includes Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer, and more.
Now, the researchers aren’t exactly sure how these specific changes drive the aging process.
But they think it has to do with creating a pro-inflammatory environment, which might “trigger” harmful inflammation and open the door to cellular aging and disease.3
In fact, some research suggests that gut dysbiosis is a primary cause of premature death in older adults!
And in my view, these findings make a lot of sense.
After all, the good bacteria in your gut have very important tasks—from supporting digestion to generating essential vitamins and nutrients. They even support cell growth and function and, importantly, regulate your immune system.
So, it’s not hard to see how any type of bacterial imbalance in the gut could accelerate aging—and lead to premature death or disease.
Now let’s move on to what YOU can do, starting today, to revitalize your gut health and improve your longevity…
A critical gut check
Getting your gut “back in check” all boils down to better lifestyle habits.
You should first and foremost focus on getting your diet right. Because what you eat on a daily basis strongly affects your microbiome… perhaps more than anything else!
Here are three basic rules to follow:
- Avoid sugar and processed foods at all costs.
- Fill up on lean protein, healthy fats, lots of fiber rich vegetables, and a bit of fruit.
- Eat prebiotic-rich foods to nourish the probiotics in your gut.
(You can learn more about eating for a better gut in
my book The A-List Diet, available on my website, www.DrPescatore.com.)
Next, make sure to exercise as often as possible. Strive for 150 minutes a week, which is about 20 minutes a day. You should also aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Last, avoid antibiotics whenever possible and make sure you add a good, high-quality probiotic supplement to your daily regimen. A good probiotic will also help rebalance your gut in the event an antibiotic is unavoidable. Plus, research shows this simple habit can help ward off dysbiosis and improve your gut health.
In fact, it actually slows down the aging process in SEVEN key ways—ultimately making you feel happier, healthier, and better than ever…
When you start taking a probiotic, you can expect to:
Protect your brain. Lab research shows that probiotics protect vital neurons in the region of the brain tasked with learning and memory.4 And in clinical trials, probiotics have been shown to improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.5 They even appear to enhance cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease!6
Restore your skin and hair. You might be surprised to learn that taking a probiotic supplement can help with your hair and skin—but it does! In fact, in human clinical trials, probiotics help slow internal and external signs of aging in the skin. They can also restore acidic skin pH levels, alleviate oxidative stress, reduce the effect of photoaging (from too much sun), improve skin barrier function, and enhance hair quality.7
Support your liver (against common OTC pain killers). As you may know, the popular over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage and even death. But preliminary science shows that acetaminophen causes far less damage to the liver when taken with probiotics. Plus, previous research shows probiotics can also protect against alcoholic liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.8
Boost your mood. In a recent study by Canadian researchers, people with mild-to-moderate depression who took probiotics experienced a “significant” improvement in their mood, feelings of pleasure, and sleep disturbances after just four weeks. The researchers think probiotics work by reducing inflammation and increasing serotonin, the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitter.9
Increase your energy. Some research suggests that probiotics produce vitamins K and B—two nutrients vital to energy production in humans. In addition, by improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients in the gut, probiotics can really make a difference in your energy levels.10 We even see this pronounced effect in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome!
Support your joints. By reducing inflammation, probiotics can also help combat both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.11
Maintain your healthy weight. Certain probiotics, such as those in the well-known Lactobacillus family, inhibit the absorption of dietary fat and increase the amount of fat excreted through feces. They may also help release appetite-suppressing hormones and increase fat-regulating proteins.12 No wonder a recent meta-analysis found that taking probiotics could result in “significant weight reductions” in just 12 weeks!13
The perfect probiotic
Now, the trouble is, finding a good, high-quality probiotic isn’t as easy as it sounds.
In fact, there’s a lot of junk on the market, which can make the decision extra confusing. So, to find a quality product, let’s start with the product label. A lot of probiotic products you see in stores try to “wow” you with the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) they deliver.
But—billions of CFUs are NOT good for you.
That’s because CFUs are how much of ONE bacterium, or a very small group of bacteria, you’re consuming with each probiotic dosage.
And ingesting too many of any one type can cause complete havoc in your body. It may even trigger an autoimmune response! So, always remember that when it comes to CFUs, less IS more.
Which leads me to my second tip…
While we don’t want too much of any one given bacterium, we also want to avoid supplements that only contain a single strain.
Remember, your gut contains somewhere between 300 to 1,000 different types of bacteria—so a single-strain supplement won’t be much help. Instead, look for products with MULTIPLE strains of probiotics.
To take it a step further, I also encourage finding a supplement that contains prebiotics and postbiotics—in addition to probiotics. Prebiotics are basically “food” for probiotics, making your product more effective and longer lasting. Postbiotics are the biochemical compounds that make bacterial diversity so important.
I always recommend the brand Dr. Ohhira’s, as it checks all three of those boxes.
In the end, a wealth of research suggests that your gut microbiome plays an important role in your overall health and longevity. So, make sure to take steps to get your gut “back in check”—pronto—as any imbalances could ACCELERATE your aging, without you even realizing it.
Subtle signs of dysbiosis
It’s not always easy to know when your gut is out of whack. But the following signs could point to dysbiosis:14
- Digestive problems, including cramping, gas, bloating, and food intolerances
- Aching joints
- Acid reflux
- Skin rashes
- Trouble concentrating
- “Gut Bacteria Change as You Get Older—and May Accelerate Aging.” Scientific American, 10/14/21. (scientificamerican.com/article/gut-bacteria-change-as-you-get-older-and-may-accelerate-aging/)
- “Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis: Triggers, Consequences, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Options.” Microorganisms. 2022 Mar; 10(3): 578. doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10030578
- “Gut microbiota as the key controllers of ‘healthy’ aging of elderly people.” Immun Ageing 2021; 18, 2. doi.org/10.1186/s12979-020-00213-w
- “Probiotics from Centenarians show anti-aging effects: Mouse data.” NutraIngredients, 12/22/21. (nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2021/12/22/Probiotics-from-Centenarians-show-anti-aging-effects-Mouse-data)
- “Probiotic Bifidobacterium breve in Improving Cognitive Functions of Older Adults with Suspected Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” J Alzheimers 2020;77(1):139-147. doi.org/ 10.3233/JAD-200488.
- “Probiotics improve cognition in Alzheimer’s patients.” Science Daily, 11/10/16. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161110162840.htm)
- “Anti-Aging Effects of Probiotics.” J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Jan;15(1):9-12. PMID: 26741377.
- “Growing evidence that probiotics are good for your liver.” Science Daily, 4/23/18. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180423085445.htm)
- “Probiotics Promising for Mild to Moderate Depression.” Medscape, 6/21/17. (medscape.com/viewarticle/881877?icd=login_success_email_match_norm)
- “How a Healthy Gut Can Boost Your Energy Levels.” Lovebug Probiotics, accessed 3/4/23. (lovebugprobiotics.com/blogs/news/how-a-healthy-gut-can-boost-your-energy-levels)
- “Probiotics and arthritis.” Arthritis Foundation, accessed 3/4/23. (arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/probiotics-and-arthritis#:~:text=Probiotics%20and%20Your%20Arthritis,%2Dreactive%20protein%20(CRP))
- 12. “How Probiotics Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat.” Healthline, 11/20/20. (healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-and-weight-loss)
- “Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics on Weight Loss in Subjects with Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients. 2021 Oct; 13(10): 3627. doi.org/3390/nu13103627
- “What is dysbiosis.” WebMD, 12/6/22. (webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-is-dysbiosis)