If this title caught your eye, it’s very likely you’re a Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964). Or maybe your a GenX’er (born 1965-1980) and a lover of classic movies! Both It’s a Wonderful Life and Casablanca were filmed in the 40’s. To many, these timeless gems seem to grow more enjoyable with age. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say the same for our digestive systems? Certainly, as we age, we do appreciate when our gut functions well. Sadly, too many times we experience unpleasant symptoms that can look like occasional constipation, loose stool, gas, and bloating. These discomforts occur as our internal microbiome (good probiotics in relation to bad bacteria) becomes unbalanced.
If this is the first time you’re hearing the word “probiotic”, don’t feel out of step. This word was unknown until the last decade. It means “good bacteria” – pro=for and biotic=life. So this is bacteria that is “for life”. That’s a very good thing, especially as we age!
Why do our good probiotics decline with age?
So let’s quickly discuss why our digestive system function so often declines with age. In our blogs, we have regularly discussed how the Loss of Microbial Diversity (LOMD) sets us up for problems at any stage of life. However, there’s a very specific reason that research has shown relates directly to the aging process. That is the substantial decline of Bifidobacteria probiotic in our colon as the years go by. In fact, it’s been stated by one researcher, “The reduction or disappearance of Bifidobacteria in the human intestine would indicate an unhealthy state.” We certainly don’t want that to happen!
As a child, your intestinal tract was dominated by Bifidobacteria probiotics. Although decline begins in adulthood and is exacerbated by lifestyle choices, in the senior years, the levels drop significantly, even in a relatively healthy digestive tract.
The importance of Bifidobacteria probiotics.
It’s been suggested that the decrease occurs due to a reduced ability for the beneficial bacteria to adhere to the intestinal lining. All along the lining, good bacteria (including Bifidobacteria) create a protective barrier. This is necessary to prevent damage to the intestines by pathogens, inflammation, toxins, or other foreign substances. We really need those probiotic protective influences!
In addition to forming a physical barrier, probiotics also create substances that inhibit harmful bacteria. Lactic and acetic acid are both produced by Bifidobacteria. These chemicals help to maintain a healthy intestinal pH level that inhibits pathogens. Bifidobacteria also produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). They feed the lining of the intestine and fortify this critical protective layer.
Including probiotics in your daily regimen is important at any age. Perhaps it’s particularly appreciated by those of us over 55! To help support A Wonderful Life, I’ve created a special blend of 60 unique probiotic strains that provides 40 billion cultures of Bifidobacteria along with 20 billion Lactobacillus. This equals an abundant 60 billion cultures per daily capsule. Additionally, there are seven organic prebiotic fibers to keep those probiotics healthy. All this is encased in a delayed-release capsule that will protect the probiotics from stomach acid. This ensures their safe delivery to your intestine where they can do their good work and make your colon especially happy – As Time Goes By~