November 2, 2021 | 45 minutes, 29 seconds
In This Article
Podcast Show Notes
In this episode of the Ayurveda Meets Modern Science podcast, host John Douillard, DC, CAP, interviews coauthor of The Whole-Body Microbiome: How to Harness Microbes—Inside and Out—for Lifelong Health Brett Finlay on the connection between our microbes and healthy aging.
The Whole-Body Microbiome delves into lifelong secrets of the microbiome. The coauthors, Brett and Jessica Finlay, set out to uncover how microbes affect our everyday lives and how these bugs can prolong our years.
How to Manage Your Microbes for Health Aging
In your youth, your microbes bounce around and are rapidly changing. As you reach middle age, they begin to stabilize. But once you reach around 65 years old they become inflammatory. So what control do you have over your healthy aging? Well, healthy aging is about 20 percent up to your DNA and 80 percent self-made.
By following the Blue Zones lifestyle–the diet, exercise, and community principles that keep centenarians healthy–you can prolong your existence. The microbiome take on Blue Zones includes eating a seasonal and whole food diet, finding exposure to young and new microbes (such as the ones that kids and dogs are hosts too), maintaining an exercise routine, and reducing stress.
Another important factor for healthy aging is keeping a great oral hygiene routine and reducing antibiotics when possible, as they kill microbes. Increased oral health lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s and memory-related decline, according to Finlay. Mouthwash could actually get rid of good microbes, not the bad ones, so swishing with oil is a great alternative, for example.
Microbes and the Environment
You have heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Well, this applies to microbes on a very large scale. What you eat, touch, and breathe becomes part of you. When we eat we take on the biochemistry and microbes of our food.
Every time we eat, the microbes in our gut change. They can alter with diet and the environment, within a matter of a day or two. Bugs tend to adapt to the environment around us faster than the rest of our bodies adapt. This is why Ayurveda insists on eating seasonally, as the microbes in the soil change seasonally, directly impacting gut health.