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Probiotics for the Aging

Researchers in Italy have reported that supplementation of probiotics in the diet are beneficial for elderly individuals, as reported in July 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. Research has indicated that intestinal microflora tends to remain fairly constant over the lifespan, except in the aging, whose have been shown to have lower counts of these beneficial enzymes. Reseachers found that the elderly have less bifidobacteria, and a more fungi and enterobacteria in their digestive system than their younger counterparts. It has been suggested that this difference may account for a decreased digestive and absorbative capacities that result with age, and with decreased immunity. When supplementation of microflora was introduced, an increase in the bifdobacteria was found in 6 out of 7 participants that had lower than normal counts. However, it was noted that further research should be conducted with larger samples, and longer periods of time, in ORDER to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits of probiotic supplementation for the elderly.

Source: National Library of Medicine

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