Emerging evidence supports a role for the gut microbiome on the maintenance of lean body mass and physical functioning.
Researchers investigating the effect of a gut microbiota transplant from high functioning (HF) older adults (70-85 years old) into mice, to that of a low functioning (LF) older adults, found a 6.4% increase in grip strength in the HF-colonised mice compared to that of the LF-colonised mice
Subjects of the study were categorised into HF or LF by their short physical performance battery (SPPB) score being ≤8 or ≥11, respectively. SPPB consists of a sum of three metrics ranked from 0 (worst performance) to 12 (best performance): the total balance score, chair stand score and gait speed score.
It was concluded that a rise in population of family-level Prevotellaceae, genus-level Barnesiella and Prevotella, and species-level Barnesiella intestinihominis may be involved in mechanisms related to the maintenance of muscle strength
These findings suggest a role for gut bacteria on the maintenance of muscle strength and adds to the elucidation of the gut-muscle axis in older adults