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Is Climate Change Making You Age Faster?

An unsuspecting catalyst may be at play in our quest to look and feel younger – climate change! A review study published in Human Nutrition & Metabolism took a deep dive into the scientific research on the link between climate change and aging.

Researchers found that climate change may detrimentally impact aging through its effects on the soil. Here’s a quick summary of how farmland soil is associated with aging:

  • the health of our gut microbiome plays a huge role in determining our overall health and longevity since the gut controls metabolites that help organs function, including the brain, liver, heart, lungs, and adipose tissue;
  • the food we eat determines the health of our gut microbiome;
  • the quality of the food we eat – nutrient and microbial density and diversity – is dependent on the richness of the soil in which it’s planted;
  • the health of the soil in which our food is planted is heavily reliant on the climate.

Climate change increases temperatures, environmental pollutants, and erratic weather patterns, triggering alterations in soil such as an increase in inorganic nitrogen, a decrease in the rate of microbial decomposition and nitrogen cycling, and a decrease in the overall number of microbes (richness) and the amount of microbial species (diversity). These alterations deplete the micronutrient composition and overall quality and productivity of our crops, which scientists argue will gravely affect the health of human gut microbes, and as a result, our health and ability to age well. 

In this review study researchers draw a strong link between climate change and a negative impact on aging, although more studies are needed to prove a causal association.  

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