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Inflammaging in the Gut as We Age – Is this a Thing?

By Nicole Sherwin, founder Eco Diva Natural Superfood Skincare www.ecodiva.co.za

Inflammaging refers to chronic, low-grade inflammation that occurs in the body as a result of aging. It’s a phenomenon where the immune system becomes dysregulated over time, leading to a state of heightened inflammation even in the absence of infection or injury. In the context of the gut, inflammaging can manifest as chronic inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.

Inflammaging in the gut can have various causes, including:

1. Dysbiosis: Imbalance in the gut microbiota, with an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or a reduction in beneficial ones, can trigger inflammation.

2. Leaky gut: Increased intestinal permeability, often caused by factors like diet, stress, or certain medications, allows toxins, bacteria, and other harmful substances to leak from the intestines into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and inflammation.

3. Age-related changes: With aging, the gut undergoes physiological changes, such as decreased intestinal motility and alterations in the gut barrier function, which can contribute to inflammaging.

4. Immune system dysfunction: As the immune system ages, it may become less effective at distinguishing between harmful pathogens and harmless substances, leading to chronic inflammation.

Cause and effect: Inflammaging in the gut has been linked to various age-related gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and colorectal cancer. Managing inflammaging in the gut often involves lifestyle interventions such as maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, regular exercise, and sometimes supplementation with probiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. Consuming too many processed foods can contribute to inflammaging. processed foods, which often contain high levels of refined sugars, unhealthy fats, additives, and preservatives, can promote inflammation in the body through several mechanisms:

1.            Promotion of dysbiosis: Processed foods typically lack dietary fiber and important nutrients that support a healthy gut microbiota. Consuming a diet high in processed foods can alter the composition of the gut microbiota, promoting the growth of harmful bacteria and reducing the abundance of beneficial ones. This imbalance in gut bacteria can trigger inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.

2.            Increased intestinal permeability: Processed foods may contain additives and preservatives that can damage the intestinal barrier and increase intestinal permeability, leading to a condition commonly known as “leaky gut.” When the gut barrier is compromised, harmful substances such as toxins, bacteria, and food particles can leak into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and inflammation.

3.            Induction of metabolic dysfunction: Many processed foods are high in refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and chemical additives, which can contribute to insulin resistance, obesity, and other metabolic disorders. These conditions are associated with chronic low-grade inflammation throughout the body.

4.            Activation of the immune system: Certain additives and preservatives found in processed foods may directly stimulate the immune system, leading to inflammation. Additionally, processed foods may contain pro-inflammatory compounds such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) formed during cooking processes like grilling, frying, or baking at high temperatures.

The Eco Diva Good Gut Glow: https://ecodiva.co.za/products/good-gut-glow-superfood-beauty-smoothie?variant=43995439726805

Overall, a diet high in processed foods is often linked to increased inflammation in the body, which can contribute to various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis. To reduce the risk of inflammaging and promote overall health, it’s important to prioritize whole, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients and fibre while minimizing intake of processed foods and added sugars.

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