Optimize Gut Health to Lower Your Biological Age

Uncategorized Nov 24, 2023

Let me ask you something.

Would you want to look younger, if you could?  Feel younger?  Actually be younger, biologically-speaking, even as you advance in chronological years?

Who wouldn’t, right?

Luckily, we are living at a time in the history of longevity science when such reversals are actually possible.  Bit by bit, the mystery behind what ages us – and more excitingly, what anti-ages us — is being revealed.

There are, to date, ten identified hallmarks of aging.

First and foremost among them is the condition of your gut.

Lest you doubt the importance of this 20-foot long part of your anatomy, remember that the bacteria that you house in your gut contain as many cells as your entire body has human cells, but there are more than 1,000 species of bacteria containing a hundred times as much DNA as your own DNA!

There are “good bugs”.  And there are “bad bugs”.  The secret to health is to keep them in balance.

Unfortunately, modern living can really mess with our microbiomes.  Changes in our diet, antibiotic overuse, acid-blocking drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs are some of the main contributors to dysbiosis, the imbalance between harmful and beneficial bacteria.

Still, there are steps we can take to restore gut function - and in the process, restoring our bodies to a more youthful state.

1. Prebiotics

Fun fact:  Some years ago a physician and medical missionary in Africa observed that hunter-gatherer tribes consumed an average of 100-150 grams of fiber per day!  They “boasted” average daily poops 8 times heavier than those of their city counterparts, weighing in at 2 pounds.  That’s how much I weighed when I was born!

Denis Burkitt, who made these observations in the mid 1900’s, noted also how common diseases of aging seen in the West were rare among these tribes.  We now know that cancer, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, dementia, autoimmune disease, allergies, and mood disorders (including depression) are linked to the gut ecosystem.

Our modern western diet averages 8 to 15 grams of fiber, falling well below the minimal recommended 30 grams. But reaching this target becomes much easier with a diet high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and beans. 

Avocado, artichokes, asparagus, berries, peas, and chia seeds in particular have high levels of these prebiotic fibers, providing food for good bacteria.  Apples (organic, of course) contain pectin, which increases an enzyme needed to reproduce good bacteria.


  1. Probiotics

Traditional fermented foods– sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, miso, natto, kimchi, (and for those who tolerate dairy, yogurt) provide lactic bacteria, which is important to intestinal immunity.    Consuming even a small amount (a tablespoon) on a daily basis hinders the proliferation of harmful microorganisms.

Many people find that probiotic supplements are a necessary adjunct to restoring gut balance.


  1. Polyphenols

Polypenols are the colourful phytonutrients found in plants.  A particular strain of beneficial bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila, loves cranberry, pomegranate, and green tea.  In abundance, it creates a protective mucous layer in the gut, preventing leaky gut, autoimmune disease, heart disease, and diabetes.  It is also found to be necessary for immunotherapy to work as a cancer treatment.  Curcumin and olive oil are other polyphenols that make good gut food too.


  1. Other nutrients

Zinc, omega-3, vitamin A, glutamine, and collagen-rich foods like bone broth also help restore health to the microbiome.


  1. Gluten

Today’s wheat is not your grandparents’ wheat, I’m sorry to say.  Our modern version contains far more inflammatory proteins than ancient wheat.  This can contribute to leaky gut.  In addition, glyphosate, sprayed on wheat at the end of harvest, is not only a known carcinogen but also destroys your microbiome. 


  1. Sugar and starch

Sugar, flour and processed foods are like fertilizer for the bad bugs.  These bad bugs can cause an increase in intestinal permeability, which we know as leaky gut.  Sugar and starch are also often responsible for “food baby”, the bloating that results from the overgrowth of toxic bacteria.


  1. Refined oils

Refined fats (soybean, canola, corn, sunflower oils, vegetable shortening and margarine) trigger something called metabolic endotoxemia, where our metabolism is poisoned because of toxic by-products of bad bacteria.  Omega-3 oils, found in foods like fish and flax, have the opposite effect.


As you can see, gut health is about more than reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.  By weeding, seeding, and feeding the gut we can take the first step in reversing disease – and rejuvenating and restoring your molecules in your body to a younger state!




Get Marian's 10 BEST Strategies for Optimizing Your IMMUNE HEALTH!

...and other AWESOME subscriber-only wellness content


50% Complete


10 Habits for a Healthy Immune System!