Human gut microbiome aging clock

Abstract

The human gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem that both affects and is affected by its host status. Previous metagenomic analyses of gut microflora revealed associations between specific microbes and host age. Nonetheless there was no reliable way to tell a host’s age based on the gut community composition.

Here we developed a method of predicting hosts’ age based on microflora taxonomic profiles using a cross-study dataset and deep learning. Our best model has an architecture of a deep neural network that achieves the mean absolute error of 5.91 years when tested on external data. We further advance a procedure for inferring the role of particular microbes during human aging and defining them as potential aging biomarkers.

The described intestinal clock represents a unique quantitative model of gut microflora aging and provides a starting point for building host aging and gut community succession into a single narrative.

FULL TEXT (PDF): iScience


Gut microbiome

Erika Ebbel Angle

Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle discusses why the gut microbiome is the most important organ you’ve probably never heard of. The gut is the second brain, and gut health affects your overall health. This means that you are what you eat, but you are also the metabolites that live in your gut and produce the substances you need for emotional balance, energy level, and disease prevention. Poor lifestyle choices cause gut imbalances, which can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases, and even anxiety and depression.

Angle talks about three critical molecules and how they work in the body to affect your overall wellness. She also shares some tips about what you can do to maintain a healthy gut microbiome through diet and lifestyle choices.


Gender, aging and longevity in humans

Excerpt

Data showing a remarkable gender difference in life expectancy and mortality, including survival to extreme age, are reviewed starting from clinical and demographic data and stressing the importance of a comprehensive historical perspective and a gene–environment/lifestyle interaction. Gender difference regarding prevalence and incidence of the most important age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, disability, autoimmunity and infections, are reviewed and updated with particular attention to the role of the immune system and immunosenescence.

On the whole, gender differences appear to be pervasive and still poorly considered and investigated despite their biomedical relevance. The basic biological mechanisms responsible for gender differences in aging and longevity are quite complex and still poorly understood. This review focuses on centenarians and their offspring as a model of healthy aging and summarizes available knowledge on three basic biological phenomena, i.e. age-related X chromosome inactivation skewing, gut microbiome changes and maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA genetic variants.

In conclusion, an appropriate gender-specific medicine approach is urgently needed and should be systematically pursued in studies on healthy aging, longevity and age-related diseases, in a globalized world characterized by great gender differences which have a high impact on health and diseases.

FULL TEXT: Clinical Science