If we paint with very broad strokes, we can say that flies generally die from intestinal failure in the same way that humans generally die from cardiovascular failure. For flies, the intestine is at the center of the mechanisms determining the pace and manifestations of aging in that species, and the cause of a majority of deaths. While being far from the only organ to consider in fly aging, it does appear to take center stage. Bear this in mind while looking at the research noted here.
All in all, it isn’t too surprising to hear that researchers have been able to demonstrate a 60% life extension in flies through a method that involves suppressing some of the detrimental age-related changes in gut bacteria. (Though it appears that almost everything else of interest to the aging process in metabolism is also adjusted via the approach taken here – which makes it hard to ascribe the outcome to any one specific item). In recent years the research community has given ever more attention to the activities of the microbial population of the intestines in various species including our own. Evidence suggests thatthe way in which populations of