The aging process has significant effects on the motility, function, immunity, and metabolism of drugs in the gut. Despite being able to adapt to changes, the combination of chronic diseases and lifestyle exposures can impair gut functions in older individuals. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet to maintain gut health. 

A normal healthy gut allows nutrients and water to enter the body while preventing the entry of toxins via a barrier. However, a distressed gut does a poorer job at defending and can allow dangerous compounds to enter the body. A good gut barrier depends on a healthy immune system, strong gut lining, and well-balanced intestinal bacterial community.  

The gut microbiota is composed of bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. In a healthy person, these organisms coexist peacefully and play key roles in digestion such as stimulating the immune system, breaking down food, and synthesizing vitamins and amino acids. Your microbiota changes over your lifetime, and what you eat certainly has an effect on the balance.

Continue eating plenty of fiber, which adds bulk. Besides improving the regularity of bowel movements, it helps regulate the pH balance of the gut and can help decrease exposure to potentially dangerous compounds. Fruits and vegetables are always your friends.

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from gastrointestinal issues, consult with your healthcare provider or a specialist at Delta Medical Clinic.

Dr. Ulric Duncan is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Obesity Medicine, and Gastroenterology and works at Delta Medical Clinic. For more info, visit or call 662.253.5997.