Livin' on the MDedge

Fecal transfer could be the transplant of youth


Fecal matter may be in the fountain of youth

Yes, you read that headline correctly. New research by scientists at Quadram Institute and the University of East Anglia, both in Norwich, England, supports the claim that transferring fecal microbes might actually have some positive effects on reversing the aging process in the eyes, brain, and gut.

How do they know? Mice, of course. In the study, scientists took the gut microbes from older mice and transferred them into the younger mince. The young mice displayed inflamed signs of aging in their guts, brains, and eyes, which, we all know, decline in function as we age. What happens is a chronic inflammation of cells as we get older that can be found in the brain or gut that leads to a degenerative state over time.

Albrecht Fietz/Pixabay

When the older mice received the gut microbes from younger mice, the investigators saw the reverse: Gut, brain, and eye functionality improved. In a way, minimizing the inflammation.

There’s tons of research out there that suggests gut health is the key to a healthy life, but this study points directly to an improvement in brain and vision functionality as a result of the transfer.

Now, we’re not insinuating you get a poo transfer as you reach old age. And the shift to human studies on microbiota replacement therapy is still in the works. But this definitely is a topic to watch and could be a game changer in the age-old quest to bottle youth or at least improve quality of life as we age.

For now, the scientists did find some connections between the beneficial bacteria in the transplants and the human diet that could have similar effects, like changes in the metabolism of certain fats and vitamin that could have effects on the inflammatory cells in the eye and brain.

The more you know!

It’s not lying, it’s preemptive truth

Lying is bad. Bold statement, we know, but a true one. After all, God spent an entire commandment telling people not to do the whole bearing false witness thing, and God is generally known for not joking around. He’s a pretty serious dude.

In case you’ve been wandering around the desert for a while and haven’t had wifi, we have a bit of a misinformation problem these days. People lie all the time about a lot of things, and a lot of people believe the lies. According to new research, however, there are also a lot of people who recognize the lies but accept them anyway because they believe that the lies will become true in the future.

Peter Timmerhues/Pixabay

Imagine the following scenario: A friend gets a job he’s not qualified for because he listed a skill he doesn’t have. That’s bad, right? And the people the researchers interviewed agreed, at least initially. But when informed that our friend is planning on obtaining the skill in summer classes in the near future, the study participants became far more willing to excuse the initial lie.

A friend jumping the gun on training he doesn’t have yet is fairly innocuous as far as lying goes, but as the researchers found, this willingness to forgive lies because they could become true extends far further. For example, millions of people do not vote illegally in U.S. elections, nor do White people get approved for mortgages at rates 300% higher than minorities, but when asked to imagine scenarios in which those statements could be true, study participants were less likely to condemn the lie and prevent it from spreading further, especially if their political viewpoints aligned with the respective falsehood.

It seems, then, that while we may aspire to not tell lies, we take after another guy with magic powers who spent too much time in the desert: “What I told you was true, from a certain point of view.


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