Changing demographics have made aging and age-related chronic diseases an enormous and growing
biomedical and societal challenge. The biological processes of aging may involve a role for the gut microbiota. Aspects of
host physiology such as immune homeostasis and energy balance are profoundly influenced by the microbiota. Immune
dysregulation characterizes old age and constitutes a major pathomechanism underlying frailty and age-associated chronic
diseases. A growing body of literature implicates age-related perturbations in the gut microbial ecology as contributing to
a global inflammatory state in the elderly. A better understanding of the nature and determinants of the host-microbe
relationship in old age has the potential to translate into strategies that promote healthy aging and extend life span. This
review summarizes our current understanding of the configuration of the age-related gut microbiota and its likely role in
determining the immune phenotype in the elderly. It also highlights the specific components of the microbiota that can be
targeted to modulate the age-related chronic inflammation.
Keywords: Aging, gut microbes, inflammaging, inflammation, microbiota, probiotics, immune homeostasis, microbiota, Immune dysregulation, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, osteoarthritis.
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