Next-gen probiotic that provides hope for longevity developed in India

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A team of Indian scientists has recently identified the next-generation probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus Plantarum JBC5 from a dairy product that showed great promise in promoting healthy aging, an official statement said on Friday.

The team has also developed a yogurt using this probiotic bacterium, which can be consumed to derive all the health benefits, it said.

Aging is generally associated with a higher risk of age-related health issues, such as obesity, neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s), cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, it raises concerns in highly populated countries like India and flags the need for scientific ways to promote healthy aging.

A team of scientists at the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, searched for healthy bacteria to promote healthy living in fermented dairy products following the proposal of Nobel laureate Dr Elie Metchnikoff.

They discovered the next-generation probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus Plantarum JBC5 from a dairy product that shows great promise in promoting healthy aging on a model organism called Caenorhabditis Elegans — a free-living, transparent nematode living temperate soil environments.

The study led by Dr Mojibur R. Khan, Associate Professor and Prof Ashis K Mukherjee, Director, in collaboration with Prof M.C. Kalita of Guwahati University and research scholars, Arun Kumar and Tulsi Joishy has shown that Lactobacillus Plantarum JBC5 improves longevity and healthy aging by modulating antioxidative, innate immunity and serotonin-signaling pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

It was recently published in the journal ‘Antioxidant’, the statement said.

Dr Khan said that the bacterium demonstrated a 27.81 per cent increase in the life span of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans accompanied by the hallmarks of healthy aging by providing improved immunity against pathogenic infections increased learning ability and memory, gut integrity, and oxidative stress tolerance. In contrast, it significantly reduced the accumulation of body fat and inflammation.

Prof Mukherjee said that the probiotic promises to delay the onset of age-associated diseases, such as obesity, a decline in cognitive functions, and immunity in the elderly.

The team has also developed a yogurt and he hopes that the probiotic will be commercialised soon so that the laboratory-generated technology reaches general people, the release said.

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