Gut Health Study: How Triphala and Probiotics Extend Life by 60% and Protect Microbiome From Disease and Aging
Gut health is a big and ever-growing topic. And new research shows an interesting angle.
First of all, it’s only a fruit fly study, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Despite that I will share how this is aligned with important health principles, so you know the concepts are true for humans too.
Scientists at McGill University fed fruit flies a combination of probiotics (specifically, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus fermentum and Bifidobacteria longum spp. Infantis) and the herbal supplement from Ayurveda, Triphala.
This increased their longevity by a whopping 60%! They lived at maximum 66 days while their un-supplemented counterparts only lived 40 days.
Of course, flies have a bit more variability in their lifespans so don’t expect a 60% increase in yours if you do the same. But hey, wouldn’t even just 5% make it worth it?
Satya Prakash, a professor of biomedical engineering said, “The effects in humans would likely not be as dramatic, but our results definitely suggest that a diet specifically incorporating Triphala along with these probiotics will promote a long and healthy life.”
This works because gut microbes play an important role in so many different functions within the body. True for fruit flies, humans, and every other animal. A couple of examples include that microbes produce around 80% of our serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for your mood along with much else. Microbes also digest some of your food turning it from things the human system can’t digest itself into usable molecules such transforming fibers to butyrate, a short chain fatty acid.
This image shows some of the factors that gut dysbiosis acts on including metabolism, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, inflammation and more. The also mention elsewhere in the paper “the loss of mitochondrial complex integrity.”
Essentially, your microbiome plays a role in everything. In the conclusion, the authors of the study stated, “Maintaining a healthy gut microbiota through the use probiotic and prebiotic supplements can delay chronic disease onset and promote longevity by simultaneously affecting each of the main triggers of aging.”
Now onto my comments.
Personally, I do NOT take a probiotic. Why? Well, many of them are not high quality. The counts on the bottle are generally not very accurate. That’s not to say there aren’t some good ones as there certainly are. But I won’t make any recommendations here.
Instead, personally, I just eat plenty of fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Almost every single day.
According to my secondary research, what you eat changes your microbe count and types more so than taking a probiotic does. Specifically eating types of PREbiotics plays a big role. These are the fibers and sugars that microbes feed on. This is what is inside Triphala.
But the combination of probiotic and prebiotic, or as they call it in this paper, synbiotic (syn- coming from the Greek, meaning with or together), is where the best results came. Each by itself gave some longevity. Together they did best.
That’s why I like the foods over probiotic pills. Sauerkraut has both probiotics and prebiotics, which makes it one of the best foods.
That being said I’m going to try some experiments. Recently, I started making kombucha again…well, actually, my wife did. But what if I throw a little Triphala in there? We’ve already experimented with using Goji Berry or Sea Buckthorn juice powder. (Don’t worry, once we perfect a recipe we’ll be sure to share it.)
There’s a whole chapter in my upcoming book, Powered By Nature, that shows the importance of the symbiotic organisms we live with. Understand that you are not just you but must act as a shepherd for these microbes too.
Do so and your health and longevity (and even weight loss) will be rewarded!
Do you have experience with what we’ve talked about? Questions? Tips? If so, we’d love for you to share them in the comments below!
Westfall, S., Lomis, N., and Prakash, S. (2018) Longevity extension in Drosophila through gut-brain communication. Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 8362 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-25382-z
The secret to longevity is in the microbiome and the gut. (2018, May 31). Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/secret-longevity-microbiome-and-gut-287429