Linking lost microbes to longevity: insights from Hadza’s gut health

Jun 28, 2023

Researchers conducted ultra-deep sequencing of the gut microbiome from Hadza hunter-gatherers, revealing a unique composition distinct from industrialised populations. The study uncovered 91,662 genomes, 44% of which were not present in existing datasets. The Hadza microbiome showcased species vanishing in industrialised societies, offering insights into the effects of modern lifestyles on gut health.


Key takeaways: Ultra-deep sequencing of Hadza hunter-gatherers recovers vanishing gut microbes


  • Microbiome diversity and health: The Hadza hunter-gatherers possess a notably diverse gut microbiome, which is significantly different from those in industrialised societies. This diversity could potentially be linked to various health aspects, as a diverse microbiome is often associated with better health outcomes
  • Vanishing microbes: The study identifies specific microbial species that are disappearing in industrialised populations, which might be crucial for understanding health disparities between different lifestyles. Understanding the role of these vanishing microbes could provide insights into how the lack of them might impact ageing and longevity in industrialised contexts
  • Impact of lifestyle on microbiome: The Hadza’s non-industrialised lifestyle, including their diet and environment, supports a unique gut microbiome. This raises questions about how modern lifestyles might be compromising microbial diversity and what this means for ageing and longevity


Reference: Smits, S. A., Leach, J., Sonnenburg, E. D., Gonzalez, C. G., Lichtman, J. S., Reid, G., … & Sonnenburg, J. L. (2023). Ultra-deep sequencing of Hadza hunter-gatherers recovers vanishing gut microbes. Cell.