(ANSA) - ROME, 02 AUG - Centenarians have a unique microbiome that can help support longevity, protecting them from certain bacterial infections, including those caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. This was revealed by a study published in Nature. A team of researchers from Keio University School of Medicine in Japan and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard studied microbes in fecal samples from 160 Japanese centenarians who had an average age of 107. They found that, compared to people between the ages of 85 and 89 and those between the ages of 21 and 55, they had higher levels of several bacterial species that produce molecules called secondary bile acids.
Secondary bile acids are generated by microbes in the colon and are thought to help protect the gut from pathogens and regulate the body's immune responses. They then treated common bacteria that cause infections in the laboratory with secondary bile acids that were high in centenarians. It was found that a molecule, called isoalloLCA, strongly inhibited the growth of Clostridioides difficile, an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that causes severe diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. Feeding C. difficile-infected mice based on diets supplemented with isoalloLCA similarly suppressed pathogen levels. The team also found that isoalloLCA potently inhibited growth or killed many other gram-positive pathogens, which suggests that theisoalloLCA can help the body maintain the delicate balance of microbial communities in a healthy gut.