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Over the years of evolution, bacteria have learned to "kill" the elderly in order to maintain a balance in nature

09 January 2015, 09:00

Scientists, investigating bacteria that inhabit the human body, concluded that over the years of evolution, the bacteria "learned" to activate the aging process and lead to death in old age.

It is for this reason, scientists believe, the duration of childhood in a person is increased. On this mechanism the principle of people's survival is built.  

In earlier studies, it was found that the human body inhabits ten times more bacteria than in the body cells. The microbiome depends on weight, mood and even brain functions, such as memory, attention, speech, coordination, thinking, etc.

Now scientists say that bacteria also have to do with aging processes of the body. For example, Helicobacter pylori bacteria live in the human intestine for dozens of years, without causing any harm, but in some cases these bacteria lead to cancer of the stomach, and the older the person, the higher the risk that Helicobacter pylori will begin to "harm".

On the basis of such conclusions, the specialists suggested that in the youth the microbiome maintains the life in the organism of the "master," but in the elderly this same microbiom begins to kill the organism to maintain the balance of species on the planet.

Such assumptions were confirmed by a mathematical model, which was based on the simulation of hunter-gatherers from ancient society.

Specialists asked the same length of life that a modern person has. It is worth noting that in ancient times the life expectancy of people was much less, since adverse external phenomena and weak medicine did not contribute to a long life in any way.

Three subgroups were singled out in the model: young people, people of childbearing age, elderly people (not reproductive age). After that, specialists monitored changes in the society in terms of reproduction of offspring and mortality.

To determine what effect bacteria produce , experts have introduced various bacterial factors into the system. For example, scientists have activated Shigella, which causes severe poisoning and sometimes leads to child mortality. After that, they documented the gradual disappearance of the human species.

After the activation of Helicobacter pylori, which in the old age leads to negative consequences, the human species existed in a more or less stable form (the youth was relatively healthy, and the old people died). However, after scientists removed Helicobacter pylori, this led to the fact that mortality in old age decreased, and this, in turn, led to the decline of human society.

Scientists have known for a long time that the intestinal microflora affects the general state of human health. In this area, experts conducted another interesting study, during which they wanted to know how a person's lifestyle influences microbiology.

For these purposes, a special mobile application was used, which was tested by two volunteers.

As it turned out, the microflora in the intestines was not affected by physical activity, sleep, mood. But with food poisoning or moving to another country, the microflora changed significantly - the bacteria that were present in the body began to mass die.

Scientists plan to conduct another study in which more participants will participate and learn how to normalize the intestinal microflora in order to improve the overall well-being of a person.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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