Age and the aging process significantly alter the small bowel microbiome

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Leite G, Pimentel M, Barlow GM, Chang C, Hosseini A, Wang J, Parodi G, Sedighi R, Rezaie A, Mathur R
Cell reports
Gut microbial diversity decreases with aging, but existing studies have used stool samples, which do not represent the entire gut. We analyzed the duodenal microbiome in 251 subjects aged 18-35 (n = 32), 36-50 (n = 41), 51-65 (n = 96), and 66-80 (n = 82). Decreased duodenal microbial diversity in older subjects is associated with combinations of chronological age, number of concomitant diseases, and number of medications used, and also correlated with increasing coliform numbers (p < 0.0001). Relative abundance (RA) of phylum Proteobacteria increases in older subjects, with increased RA of family Enterobacteriaceae and coliform genera Escherichia and Klebsiella, and is associated with alterations in the RA of other duodenal microbial taxa and decreased microbial diversity. Increased RA of specific genera are associated with chronological age only (Escherichia, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus), number of medications only (Klebsiella), or number of concomitant diseases only (Clostridium and Bilophila). These findings indicate the small intestinal microbiome changes significantly with age and the aging process.