If we had to choose one big health discovery from the last decade, it would probably involve gut bacteria (gut flora or microbiota).
In short, if your microbiome is out of whack – more bad bugs than good bugs living in your intestinal tract – you'll be more susceptible to a host of nasty conditions and chronic diseases.
From a bodybuilding perspective, too much bad bacteria may even affect your rate of calorie expenditure – you eat the same amount as before, only now the same number calories causes you to pack on body fat. Those bad bugs can even trigger cravings.
Longevity researchers have been touting the importance of a healthy gut for a while now, but this new research really has them excited.
First off, yes, this was a study using fruit flies. And you're probably not a fruit fly. But the researchers here say that the fruit fly's biochemical pathways are very similar to a human's – about 70% the same. So we'll keep that in mind.
The scientists fed fruit flies a "symbiotic," a combination of probiotics and Triphala – a blend of three fruits used in a form of traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda. Those fruits were amalaki (Indian gooseberry), bibhitaki, and haritaki.
The flies who were fed this stack of probiotics and Triphala lived 60% longer and seemed to be protected against chronic age-related diseases. Now, for fruit flies, that means they lived 26 days longer than the non-supplemented flies in the study.
Given the naturally short lifespan of a fruit fly, that's a remarkable boost in longevity.
What This Means to You
The researchers do NOT expect this stack to extend the human lifespan by 60%, but they do think it would help prolong human lives. And there's definitely a synergistic effect happening here between the probiotics and the polyherbal combo supplement.
For now, put this info into your "keep an eye on it" file. It sounds promising. You can find Triphala in capsule and powder form in many health food stores.
- Westfall, Lomis, Prakasg. "Longevity extension in Drosophila through gut-brain communication." Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 8362 (2018)
- Michael Rosenbaum, Rob Knight, and Rudolph L. Leibel, "The gut microbiota in human energy homeostasis and obesity" Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Sep; 26(9): 493–501.