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Mechanism of “longevity bacteria”

Why does butyric acid provide longevity?
This is because when the concentration of butyric acid increases in the large intestine, it changes the entire mammalian immune system. In other words, a butyric acid-dominant intestinal environment has a great positive effect on the whole body. An increase in butyric acid concentration in the large intestine affects the immune system of mammals. This Peyer's patch differs greatly in structure and function from other colonic epithelia.
1) It can pass butyric acid in the large intestine.
2) Concentrated antigen-presenting cells (macrophages) and immunocompetent cells (T cells)
These two points. This allows colonic butyrate to directly impact macrophage and T-cell function.
So what are the implications?
This is what promotes the differentiation of regulatory T cells.


Due to the presence of Peyer's patches, increased butyrate concentrations result in an increased number of regulatory T cells. These regulatory T cells have the effect of suppressing excessive immune responses in mammals and restoring them to a normal state. For example, Philippe Langella's group found that Faecalibacterium prausnitzii cultured and reintroduced into the gut of mice with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease ameliorated these conditions. This effect has been shown to be mediated by an increase in regulatory T cells. Many immune disorders involve excessive activation of helper T cells. Regulatory T cells suppress this abnormal activation. It is said that this suppresses excessive immunity and improves the disease condition.

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Longevity village and butyric acid bacteria

Mr. Metchnikoff researched longevity villages, extracted their common eating habits, and found that they ate yogurt almost every day. was over 100 years ago. Since then, many scholars have speculated that gut bacteria may be the key to healthy longevity.
Analysis using the latest technology such as the microbiome has revealed that butyric acid bacteria are also very important for maintaining a healthy intestinal environment. The microbiome revealed that Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, one of the butyric bacteria, was greatly reduced in patients with Crohn's disease.

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​Butyric acid bacteria and Treg cells

​acetic acid, lactic acid, propionic acid

The ideal environment in the intestine is slightly acidic. In order to maintain weak acidity, it is necessary to produce acidic substances (lower fatty acids) from intestinal bacteria, and there are mainly 4 types of lower fatty acids. That is, acetic acid (carbon number C=2), lactic acid (C=3), propionic acid (C=3), butyric acid (C=4).
A ketone body is a hydroxylated carbon at the 3-position of butyric acid.
Many intestinal bacteria have the ability to produce these lower fatty acids, but which lower fatty acids are preferentially produced and released outside the bacterial body is determined by the type of intestinal bacteria. Intestinal bacteria that predominantly produce acetic acid, lactic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid are called acetic acid bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, propionic acid bacteria, and butyric acid bacteria, respectively.

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Butyric acid bacteria are “longevity bacteria”

This pioneering work was followed by a series of reports on the health benefits of butyric acid bacteria. At the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Enterobacteriology held in 2018, it was reported that ``a large amount of butyric acid bacteria was detected when analyzing the intestinal bacteria of elderly people living in areas with many longevity''.
It was reported that there was a difference when comparing the intestinal microflora of Kyoto City (control) residents and Kyotango City residents (there are significantly more long-lived people). (From research by Dr. Yuji Naito, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine)
In other words, residents of Kyotango City have significantly more butyric acid bacteria such as Rosebria and Lactococcus.
Based on this report, it was proposed to call butyric acid bacteria "longevity bacteria". In other words, creating a butyric acid-dominant intestinal environment may be one of the basics of anti-aging.

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​ [reference paper]

Naito Y, Takagi T, Inoue R, Kashiwagi S, Mizushima K, Tsuchiya S, Itoh Y, Okuda K, Tsujimoto Y, Adachi A, Maruyama N, Oda Y, Matoba S. Gut microbiota differences in elderly subjects between rural city Kyoto and urban city Kyoto: an age-gender-matched study. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2019 Sep;65(2):125-131.

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