It certainly seems strange that the fruit fly, a creature known for its incredibly short lifespan, may have helped reveal the secret to longevity.
Some recent research utilizing an easy-to-find combo of two supplements has been able to extend the life of this pesky little insect from around 40 days to over two months. And when you’re talking fruit-fly time, that’s practically immortality!
This is more than just a “fountain of youth” combo, however, as what scientists at Montreal’s McGill University have discovered confirms years of prior research into the importance of maintaining the health of your gut bacteria.
And accomplishing that, although quite simple, could be one of the most vital things you can do to improve your health… and now we know… even extend your life!
The new ‘dynamic duo’
You’d never realize it by looking at (or swatting!) a fruit fly, but this tiny creature shares over 70 percent of its “biochemical pathways” with mammals.
And considering that it typically only lives long enough to swarm around with its fellow fruit flies in search of moisture (and bowls of fruit!) for a few weeks, it’s perfect for a lab study on longevity!
The McGill researchers dosed their laboratory fruit flies with a combination of probiotics and another supplement called triphala (more on that in a minute). And the lucky ones in that test group survived up to a whopping 66 days – that’s 26 days longer than those that were fed a conventional fruit-fly diet.
Of course, as you’ve been reading in the eAlert, probiotics help to maintain a thriving colony of good microbes in your intestines, and they are absolutely vital if you want to have a strong immune system.
But the trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in your gut can use some additional help as well. And that’s where triphala comes in.
That “symbiotic” pairing (which basically means that together the ingredients are considerably more powerful than they would be alone) was, according to the McGill team, the secret sauce that allowed those fruit flies to live longer.
While you may be familiar with probiotics, chances are good that unless you’ve studied an ancient type of medicine known as Ayurveda (considered to be the oldest holistic healing practice in the world), triphala is new to you. In India, however, it has been widely known for thousands of years and is considered to be one of the most valuable herbal formulations available.
It consists of three different herbs that meet the very definition of playing well together!
HSI panel member Dr. Glenn Rothfeld has been a fan of triphala for decades. Most Western physicians, according to Dr. Rothfeld, typically first become aware of triphala as an effective treatment for constipation. Now, however, more and more doctors are learning about its remarkable effect as an antioxidant, one that can “protect our organ systems from the ravages of aging,” he says.
Triphala has also been studied (with very successful outcomes) as a potent anti-inflammatory, a treatment for colitis, a way to prevent cataracts, and what Dr. Rothfeld calls the most “remarkable” finding – a way to protect against the damaging effects of radiation treatments for cancer! Some studies have even found it to have anti-cancer properties.
So, you can easily see why this trio of herbs is so highly regarded in Indian medicine.
In fact, this new study confirms what a 2017 review of scientific literature found about how triphala perfectly complements probiotics, helping them to be much more effective.
Individually, both have incredible health benefits… but put them together, and the effects are even more amazing. And if the results found in fruit flies apply to people, this dynamic duo may be the true secret to a longer life.
While taking a high-quality probiotic daily is a must, you can also up the ante with certain foods, such as yogurt (of course!), kefir (a yogurt-like drink that contains even more strains of beneficial bacteria), and cultured foods such as tempeh (fermented soy).
And when it comes to a triphala supplement, Dr. Rothfeld’s recommendation is that you make sure to get it from a reliable source, as there can be variations in potency, and low-quality versions run the risk of being adulterated.
So, perhaps there is a fountain of youth after all! And to think, it took a bunch of fruit flies to help us discover it!
“Secret to longevity may lie in the microbiome and the gut” McGill University, May 31, 2018, ScienceDaily, sciencedaily.com