Probiotics may have a role in slowing the aging process in the immune system. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Immunosenescence and anti-immunosenescence therapies: the case of probiotics.
Rejuvenation Res. 2008 Apr;11(2):425-32. PMID: 18442326
Gruppo di Studio sull'Immunosenescenza, Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Metodologie Biomediche, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy. [email protected]
Aging is a complex process that negatively impacts the development of the immune system and its ability to function. Progressive changes in the T and B cell systems over the life span have a major impact on the capacity to respond to immune challenge. These cumulative age-associated changes in immune competence are termed immunosenescence. This process is mostly characterized by: (1) shrinkage of the T cell repertoire and accumulation of oligoclonal expansions of memory/effector cells directed toward ubiquitary infectious agents; (2) involution of the thymus and the exhaustion of naive T cells; and (3) chronic inflammatory status. Here we discuss possible strategies to counteract these main aspects of immunosenescence, in particular the role of the normalization of intestinal microflora by probiotics. A better understanding of immunosenescence and the development of new strategies to counteract it are essential for improving the quality of life of the elderly population.