Don’t Eat Poop Like Kim!

“If you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, I might. I just might.” —Kim Kardashian, NYT

Don’t do it, Kim! Let HappySpans show you a yummier way.

Kim may have been putting out feelers for a new line of baby poo poo pills (gag me with a spoon), or it might be mere coincidence that her distasteful declaration came on the heels of this equally stunning publication in Microbiome by Parker, et al., 2022 of the Quandrum Institute in the UK entitled, “Fecal microbiota transfer between young and aged mice reverses hallmarks of the aging gut, eye, and brain”

Because Kim’s brain is already powerful enough to create billion dollar brands AND dabble in geroscience as she pleases, she gets a pass for focusing on looks over cognition. But here we’ll discuss ways to rewind the clock of your own microbiome (that bio-universe of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and archaea that make up 90% of the cell count of what we consist of) to get BOTH—plus a whole lot more—and you won’t need to eat s**t to reap these universally sought after benefits. Quite the contrary!

That eating poop from young mice extends the health and lifespan of old mice—while the young become decrepit after eating the feces of old mice—highlights the extreme importance of our own microbiome to every aspect of health and longevity, including cognition. In fact, a root cause of aging, and thus all age-related diseases, is now understood to be the transformation from the good spectrum of gut bacterial species typically found in youth (assuming proper diet), to the downright nasty, too often observed in the aged. Witness in horror the C. Diff infections, for which last-ditch fecal transplants often outperform antibiotics, or the high mortality, LPS-induced septic shock cases that terrorize nursing homes. So what preventive measures are both effective AND palatable?

Because we’ve coexisted with certain bacterial strains since the beginning of complex life, it’s not surprising that friendly relationships developed to the point that our good health absolutely depends on these good strains. That’s why our bodies have built-in ways, such as within the appendix, to sequester a wide range of good species that harbor the ability to repopulate entire gut microbiomes, for example after severe bouts of food poisoning. Similarly with aging, low quantities of the good may still be present, even in the grossly transformed and deadly guts of the infirm, with potential to out-compete the bad—but ONLY if provided the right nutrients to thrive.

While probiotic supplements are still the rage (gag me with a burnt rubber spoon), evidence of their effectiveness is sparse. Why? Ingesting probiotics, even those with bacterial counts ranging in the billions, is equivalent to sending one soldier to fight a vicious army of hundreds of thousands (bacterial counts number a trillion per milliliter in the colon), and these lone soldiers can’t thrive anyway if the nutrients they depend upon are missing. Common sense, and a burgeoning mountain of evidence indicate that PREBIOTICS (nutrients that FEED the good bacteria while deterring the bad) are far more effective when consumed regularly.

As part of HappySpans’ mission to target root causes of aging in both people and their furry family members in an absolutely safe manner, approved by doctors and vets alike, we’ve identified the combination of inulins, apples, and certain berry fibers as perfect for promoting a youthful microbiome. Inulins are naturally occurring fructans (fructooligosaccharides or FOS), such as those from the sunchoke or chicory root, with proven, FDA-approved health benefit claims. Dozens of years of extensive research—from mouse to human—has shown inulin alone to not only improve digestive and microbiome health, but also to support immune, bone and heart health, control diabetes, and promote weight loss. Benefits of apples and berries at the doses we provide go far beyond the above, and will be discussed in future posts.

Promoting a youthful microbiome through evidence-based, dose-optimized prebiotics is just one leg of HappySpans’ mission to target root causes of aging. Look for future posts about how the ingredients in our delicious smoothie mix/food topper also fulfill polyphenol deficiencies (especially stark in pet diets) to reduce age-related oxidative stress, and how our bioactive flavonoid, fisetin, senolytically targets Zombie cells—the primary source of inflammaging—and proven to dramatically extend health and lifespan in lab animals, even when started at the human equivalent of 75 years old!

Whether you’re looking for an all-natural way to target 3 root causes of aging in yourself, your pet, or BOTH—visit the HappySpans store now!

Sans Emmert, PhD

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