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Gut health and age

young face and older face, comparing ages
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Ever wondered what happens to your gut as you get older? Spot the difference 😉
 
As we age…
– Our sense of smell and taste can decrease
– Our stomach produces less acid
– Our large intestine moves more slowly, i.e. slowed motility
– The diversity of our gut microbes typically reduce
 
Altogether it can lead to more gut symptoms, reduced appetite and affected absorption of some vitamins (particularly b12) and minerals.
 
In fact, did you know that a subset of people with symptoms of dementia may actually have untreated B12 deficiency? This is why people suspected of dementia are typically screened for B12 deficiency before they’re diagnosed.
 
If they are deficient, once supplemented their cognitive impairment improves! i.e. they never actually had dementia, just B12 deficiency… all because of their ageing gut.
 
But an ageing gut it’s certainly not a life sentence and it doesn’t have to be that way! Research shows those who age healthily have a more diverse microbiome. In fact, centenarians living to 100 years old or more have been shown to have special profiles of gut bacteria! It’s all about #TheDiversityDiet which I can’t wait to share with you in my book Eat More, Live Well.