Fun fact of the day: There are approximately three pounds of bacteria chilling in your intestinal tract. Scientists have recently begun to study these bacteria—and how they affect our health—more extensively and found that they can play a role in everything from our mood to our, ahem, digestive issues. New science would like to add “fountain of youth” to this list.
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that certain chemicals made by intestinal bacteria helped worms, mice and flies stay active and healthy for longer in their lifespans. Note: They did not study if these chemicals, called indoles, helped them live longer. Rather, they looked at what they call “healthspan”—how long a being remains free of age-related illness.
“This is a direct avenue to a drug that could make people live better for longer,” says senior author Daniel Kalman, PhD, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.
Okay, so it’s less fountain of youth and more mysterious-but-promising findings involving worms and bacteria, but like, basically the same. Excuse us while we go guzzle kombucha.