Mitochondrial-microbial cross-talk in the ageing colonic epithelium
Dr Laura Greaves
1. To assess whether age related changes to the intestinal mitochondrial function can impact influence the composition of the gut microbiota. 2. To evaluate the impact of exercise on intestinal mitochondrial function and gut microbiota.
Research has shown that there are interactions between the bacteria present in the digestive system and the walls of the digestive system. The wall of the digestive system is crucial for absorption of nutrients, but also stops potential harmful bacteria from entering the body. With ageing and disease states this protective barrier can be diminished leading to low grade inflammation and has been linked with the development of type 2 diabetes and liver disease, amongst others. There is evidence that short chain fatty acids that are derived from digestion in colon and exercise are associated with improving the barrier function in the digestive system, and may therefore protect individuals.
This study will determine whether short chain fatty acids and/or exercise may be able to attenuate and/or improve the age associated decline in the barrier function in the digestive system.