Sunday, 28 April 2019

Herbal Bilberry Enhances the Gut Microbiota for Healthy Aging

By Kyle J. Norton

Aging is the natural and biological process of growing older.

You can not stop the aging clock, but, you can delay the progression by taking some preventive actions, including living a healthy lifestyle accompanied by moderate exercise.

Healthy aging refers to the creation of a series of conditions that allow the aging population to live functionally without affected by serious chronic diseases or medical conditions (that are well managed).

The World Health Organization in the definition of healthy aging wrote, "healthy aging as the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age” and "Functional ability is about having the capabilities that enable all people to be and do what they have reason to value".

In other words, healthy aging must comprise all the mental and physical capacities such as the ability to walk, think, see, hear and remember, particularly in bathing, dressing, and other independent living skills, such as shopping and housework. 

Dr. Ruth Elaine Nieuwenhuis-Mark in the study of healthy aging as a disease wrote, "A popular theory in the aging literature since the early 1990s is the socioemotional selectivity theory (SST; Carstensen, 1992). SST was put forward as an attempt to explain the so-called “paradox of aging” which refers to the finding that while physical health tends to decline as we age subjective well-being may be maintained or even improve (Diener and Suh, 1998)".

And, "Focusing on normal aging as a disease could, therefore, be seen as a step-back for aging research rather than a move forward. Aging-as-disease proponents would argue however that their focus is on improving quality of life in our final years, not on increasing our lifespans per se".

Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe.

The plant has been used as herbs in traditional medicine for the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease, and psoriasis, diabetes, etc.

Researchers in an aim to a natural compound which processes antiaging property examined the effects of bilberry anthocyanin extract consumption in healthy aging and intestinal barrier function and digestive enzyme activity, through regulating the gut microbiota in aging rats.

The study included aging rats fed with the medium-dose bilberry anthocyanin extract (20 mg per kg bw per day) in the regulation of the intestinal function.

Consumption of the extract showed strong activity in the gut by allowing the bacteria beneficial in the intestine (Aspergillus oryzae, Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Clostridiaceae-1, the Bacteroidales-S24-7-group, and the Lachnospiraceae_NK4A136_group) to grow, and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria (Verrucomicrobia and Euryarchaeota).

However, high-dose bilberry anthocyanin extract consumption was found to induce the negative effect in alternating some intestinally beneficial bacteria.

Furthermore, bilberry anthocyanin extract consumption also decreased the activity of digestive enzymes in breaking down food correlated to the changes in bacterial composition, short-chain fatty acids and the intestinal mucosal barrier.

In other words, bilberry anthocyanin extract consumption improved the digestive function without affecting the digestive enzymes activity which has been found in low levels in people with the digestive problem including the aging population.

Dr. Li J, the lead scientists said, " bilberry anthocyanin extract consumption is a potential approach for assisting healthy aging".

The finding suggested that bilberry anthocyanin extract has a significant anti-aging effect by optimizing the function of the digestive system through wide range mechanisms, including bacterial composition.

Taken altogether, bilberry processed abundantly bioactive compound anthocyanin may be considered an anti-aging remedy, pending to the confirmation of larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Bilberry anthocyanin extract promotes intestinal barrier function and inhibits digestive enzyme activity by regulating the gut microbiota in aging rats by Li J1, Wu T1, Li N1, Wang X1, Chen G1, Lyu X1. (PubMed)
(2) The senescence-accelerated mouse-prone 8 is not a suitable model for the investigation of cardiac inflammation and oxidative stress and their modulation by dietary phytochemicals by Schiborr C1, Schwamm D, Kocher A, Rimbach G, Eckert GP, Frank J. (PubMed)
(3) Healthy Aging as Disease? by Ruth Elaine Nieuwenhuis-Mark. (PubMed)
(4) What is Healthy Ageing? (WHO)

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