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Fecal Transplants from Young Mice Keep Old Mice Young

A new study found that the feces reversed certain symptoms associated with aging in old mice.

A recent CBC article discussed a new study that found fecal transplants from young mice reversed some aspects of aging in older mice. Some are dubbing it the “fountain of youth,” but it’s far from the fountain of youth I always pictured. Researcher John Cryan and his team turned feces from young mice into a “slurry,” and administered it into the intestines of older mice via a feeding tube. The findings were surprising.

The transplant reversed age-related inflammation in both the bodies and brains of the older recipient mice. Most interestingly, the transplants changed the chemistry in the hippocampus, the part of the brain attributed to learning and memory, to improve memory, learning and anxiety levels. The theory is that diversity of gut microbes decreases with age, which contributes to poor health outcomes. Introducing new microbes to old mice improved cognitive function, which could have big implications for humans in the fight against aging and neurodegenerative disorders. 

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