There is increasing evidence that our gut microbiome can play a significant role in our health and wellbeing. The gut microbiome is a collective term for trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes in the gut and it can be measured in a stool or ‘poo’ sample.
Ageing is associated with changes in the gut microbiome, however these age-related changes in older adults are poorly understood. Previous studies have either been too small or limited to younger adults to understand the link between the types and number of microbes in the gut and its effect on good health and / or poor health in older persons.
ASPREE-XT Microbiome sub-study aims:
- To understand the relationship between gut microbiome, diet, and lifestyle factors and how these may contribute to good health or the development of disease, including cancer
- Identify the gut microbiome associated with cognitive decline and dementia
- Identify the gut microbiome associated with physical disability and frailty
What does participation involve?
Participants will be given a kit to collect, in the privacy of their own home, scrapings from one bowel motion and a tongue swab the following morning. The kit includes a questionnaire asking about the stool sample, diet and medication use, and the other factors which may affect the microbiome. All samples are returned by post in the provided box. These steps are summarised below:
Health information collected:
- In addition to the stool sample, tongue swab and questionnaires, the microbiome sub-study collects information about diet and lifestyle factors reported by participants in ALSOP-XT questionnaires (see ALSOP sub-study) and health events collected as part of the main ASPREE-XT study
- Microbial DNA will be extracted from the stool samples and used to identify the types and numbers of microbes to examine if there is a link between microbe content and good health or adverse health outcomes, such as heart attack or stroke, frailty or dementia.
How to be involved:
The ASPREE-XT Microbiome sub-study is being rolled out in Australia and the USA in 2021 – 2023. Details on how to participate in the ASPREE-XT Microbiome sub-study will be given to our study participants by phone or at an annual study visit.
Read more about all ASPREE sub-studies. If you have any questions, please contact our team on 1800 728 745.