3D rendering of human intestine villi and microbiome
By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN

This article is protected by copyright. Dr. Ross Pelton has been provided approval to share this article.


The Microbiome Theory of Aging (MTA) explains how microbial imbalance in the intestinal tract, which is also referred to as dysbiosis, causes health problems that accelerate biological aging. The underlying mechanisms involved include increased inflammation, elevated levels of zonulin, destruction of intestinal tight junctions, and intestinal permeability, which allow lipopolysaccharides (LPS) to leak into systemic circulation. LPS is a powerful endotoxin that causes chronic inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with chronic diseases and the acceleration of biological aging. Postbiotic metabolites are compounds that are created by probiotic bacteria in the colon. Postbiotic metabolites have been called the new frontier in microbiome science due to their key roles in regulating the structure and function of the gut microbiome and many aspects of human health.

Revolutionary advancements in technology, especially next-generation gene sequencing (NGS), have resulted in a new understanding of the structure and function of the human gut microbiome and its fundamental role in regulating health and aging.1

#1 Game Changer

The Cleveland Clinic is a highly respected medical institution. It was ranked the second hospital in the nation and the first hospital for heart care in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 Best Hospitals rankings.2

In 2016, the Cleveland Clinic assembled a panel of top doctors and scientific researchers to create a list of medical innovations that they expect to be major game changers in the coming years. When the panel of medical and scientific experts announced their list of the top 10 medical innovations that are most likely to transform healthcare in 2017 and beyond, topping the list as the #1 Game Changer expected to transform healthcare was using the microbiome to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.3

A wide range of diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors influence the aging process, and over time, numerous theories of aging have been proposed. The microbiome theory of aging (MTA) isn’t intended to dislodge or negate previous theories. The theory’s purpose is to emphasize the critical role that the gut microbiome plays in regulating many aspects of human health, which directly influence people’s rate of physical decline and biological aging. Read more.