Published on 14 Nov 2019

Bacteria in the gut may alter ageing process, finds NTU Singapore study

NTU scientists have found that gut microorganisms may alter the ageing process

Researchers led by scientists from NTU Singapore have discovered that microorganisms living in the gut influence the ageing process, which may lead to the development of food-based treatment to slow it down.

The study was published in Science Translational Medicine.

The team led by Professor Sven Pettersson from the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, transplanted gut microbes from old mice into young, germ-free mice. After eight weeks, the young mice had increased intestinal growth and production of neurons in the brain.

The researchers showed that the increased neurogenesis was due to an enrichment of gut microbes that produce a short chain fatty acid, called butyrate.

“We can conceive of future human studies where we would test the ability of food products with butyrate to support healthy ageing and adult neurogenesis,” said Prof Pettersson.

“In Singapore, with its strong food culture, exploring the use of food to ‘heal’ ourselves, would be an intriguing next step, and the results could be important in Singapore’s quest to support healthy ageing for their silver generation”.

Related media releases

Media coverage