Unlocking the Connection Between the Gut Microbiome, Muscle Function, and Cognition in the Elderly: Insights from the PROMOTe Trial

The interplay between our gut health and overall wellbeing has captivated the scientific community for years. In an ambitious exploration of this relationship, the PROMOTe (Promotion of Muscle function and Cognition) trial  has recently shed light on how gut microbiome modulation could influence muscle function and cognitive health in the elderly.

This study involved 36 twin pairs, aged 60 and above, who underwent a 12-week intervention involving prebiotic supplementation, resistance exercise, and branched-chain amino acid supplementation. The trial’s double-blind, placebo-controlled design ensured the reliability of its outcomes.

One of the key findings was the distinct impact of prebiotic supplementation on cognition. While muscle function parameters showed no significant difference between the prebiotic and placebo groups, cognitive measures hinted at a promising improvement among those receiving the prebiotic supplement.

These results underscore the intricate relationship between gut health and brain function. They suggest that targeting the gut microbiome could offer a novel avenue for enhancing cognitive health among the aging population.

Moreover, the trial’s success in employing a remote methodology to engage older participants highlights the feasibility of conducting comprehensive health interventions outside traditional clinical settings. This approach could democratize access to cutting-edge health strategies, making them more accessible to wider demographics.

In conclusion, the PROMOTe trial not only illuminates the potential cognitive benefits of gut microbiome modulation but also sets a precedent for future research in this realm. As we continue to unravel the complex connections between our gut health and overall wellbeing, such studies are invaluable, pointing us toward innovative strategies to support aging populations in maintaining mental acuity and vitality.



Ni Lochlainn, M., Bowyer, R.C.E., Moll, J.M. et al. Effect of gut microbiome modulation on muscle function and cognition: the PROMOTe randomised controlled trial. Nat Commun 15, 1859 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-46116-y


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