Someday, science may show that particular prebiotic, probiotic, and synbiotic ingredients help prevent certain age-related disorders and lengthen lives. Although the anti-aging effects of pre- and probiotics are plausible, supporting science is scant and inconclusive to date. However, scientists have developed several hypotheses about how aging may alter the intestinal microbiome and how certain pre- and probiotics may help prevent or reverse these changes.
Time may seem to slow as we age, but immune function and intestinal motility actually do. Aging is also associated with what’s in our guts: An alteration in the type and number of gut bacteria may occur. If an “imbalance” in the intestinal microbiome results, it may inhibit gut function/health, raising the risk of infection and chronic inflammation — and possibly increasing the risk of diseases linked to chronic inflammation, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.