Age can savage a healthy microbiome.
Medications, eating problems and chronic diseases can kill off colonies leading to dysbiosis.
Probiotics can help. Unfortunately, older people and those who care for them may steer clear of adding probiotic supplements to the often long list of treatments already taken.
Prebiotics or the non-digestible starches which feed probiotics could be a viable option.
Michelle Alfa PhD, scientist in the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Laboratory at St-Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg reported at the Global Engage Probiotics Congress in San Diego on her research:
- 22 elderly and 21 middle-aged consumed 30 grams of 70% digestion resistant starch for 14 weeks
- 20 elderly and 21 middle-aged received placebo for 14 weeks
- Dysbiosis present at baseline in the elderly disappeared at week 12 of trial
- Bifidobacteria increased in both age cohorts receiving the prebiotic
Thus, emphasizing prebiotics may be beneficial when probiotics are less welcome in certain populations.
Listen to Dr. Alfa discuss her findings with IPA at the Global Engage Probiotics Congress in October of 2016.