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The link between gut health and ageing acceleration

Nov 2, 2023

Gut bacteria may causally influence biological ageing by altering DNA methylation, with implications for microbiota-focused longevity therapies.

November 2023 – Scientific Reports


Key takeaways


  • Gut microbiota’s causal role: The diversity and presence of specific microbes in the gut are directly linked to the rate at which biological ageing occurs. This suggests that the gut microbiome’s composition is not just associated with ageing but may actually contribute to how quickly one ages at a cellular level
  • DNA methylation as an ageing marker: DNA methylation patterns, which change as we age, are significantly influenced by gut bacteria. Since DNA methylation is a process that can reflect a person’s biological age—distinct from their chronological age—this finding indicates that the gut microbiome could be a lever to control these molecular changes
  • Potential for microbiota modification: By altering the gut microbiome, either through diet, probiotics, prebiotics, or other interventions, there may be a viable strategy to slow down the methylation changes associated with ageing. This could open up new dietary or pharmaceutical methods to extend healthspan
  • Reducing age-related disease risk: Since the acceleration of biological ageing is linked to various age-related diseases, manageing gut microbiota composition could be key in preventing or mitigating these conditions


Read the article at: Huang, Y., Chen, X., Ye, J. et al. Causal effect of gut microbiota on DNA methylation phenotypic age acceleration: a two-sample Mendelian randomization study. Sci Rep 13, 18830 (2023).