Microbiome impact for Seniors and Low diversity

Recently I have seen a number of articles looking at how the diet needs of the seniors (over 60 y.o.) are very different from younger people. One characteristics of many seniors is a decrease of microbiome diversity — the same situation that happens with some medical conditions. 

Changes with Age

“Beyond descriptive connections between microbial composition and host health status, very few studies to date have dissected the causal role of the gut microbiota during ageing. ” [2018]

“Besides microbiota diversity, reduced microbiota-related metabolic capacity, such as lower short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) levels, in old age may also be associated with aging-related maladies such as irregular bowel transit, reduced appetite, frailty, weight loss, cognitive decline, hypertension, vitamin D deficiency, diabetes, arthritis, sarcopenia, etc. [47–50].”

  • “As signature bacteria of the long life we identified specifically Eubacterium limosum and relatives that were more than ten-fold increased in the centenarians.” [2010]
  • “In centenarians, we observed a reduction in the quantity of enterobacteriaceae, bifidobacteria, and bacteroides and an increase in clostridia sensu stricto.  The presence of Bifidobacterium longum in the gut seems to be a particular feature in centenarians. It is interesting to note that only 1 strain of B. longum was isolated from each centenarian subject.” [2012]

Diet Changes Suggested in the literature

Back to my primary topic of this blog

Old muscle in young body: an aphorism describing the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome [2018]. 

  • “The data support the hypothesis that patients with CFS are subjected to some of the problems typical for muscle aging, which is probably related to disorders of muscle protein synthesis and biogenesis of mitochondria.

Bottom Line

There is a lot of literature recently published stating the same things:

  • Higher protein content than a younger person “The optimum amount for elderly adults (0.24 g/kg/meal) is approximately 70% greater than that for young adults (0.8 g/kg/day) [19], indicating an age-associated anabolic resistance to dietary protein.”
  • Leucine content is very important. See this page for the suggested foods and this page also.
    • 2.5 g is 1 serving of Greek Yogurt = 5 eggs, but half the calories
    • Study with an addition of ( 3.2 g L-leucine, 0.9 g L-valine, 0.9 g L-isoleucine) [2018]

Some 15 years ago, I recall many people with CFS/ME had significant improvement with non-denatured whey — an excellent source of protein.

Translation to American

0.24 g/kg/meal – means for a 200 lb person we are talking ~ 3 oz/day of good quality protein that is high in Leucine.