Health concern identified

The microflora of those in long-term care showed less diversity and low vigour

I love riding my bike to work as it gives me a chance to listen to Nature magazine podcasts. Nature is the foremost scientific research periodical in the world and the podcasts have the scientists describe their work in language a layman can understand.

This morning I heard a report that may have huge ramifications on a population like that is found in Penticton.

One of the most important determinants of a healthy body is the microflora that lives in our guts. This biota helps digest and incorporate nutrients as well as control disease.

An extensive study in Britain determined that the microflora in young people was different than that of older people. Further investigation showed a large difference in microflora between older people living in the general community and those living in long-term care homes.

The microflora of those older people living in the community had diversity in speciation and had large healthy populations. The microflora of those in long-term care showed less diversity and low vigour. This microflora situation was consistent with that which gives rise to frailty and inflammation.

This shocked the researchers as it would suggest that the food offered in care facilities was substandard. This was not the case as the facilities had a lot of healthy food available. The problem was the residents would not eat the healthy foods. One reason given is the healthier foods were sometimes harder to chew that the processed options.

The researchers suggest that there are some things care homes could do as well as the physicians to control frailty and inflammation in these folks. Care homes could offer more counselling on the benefits of whole foods and offer easier-to-chew forms of the good food. Dieticians could try to match the diet eaten before entering the care facility to keep the microflora healthy.

They suggest that physicians take samples of microflora of patients before they enter care facilities and this would be a baseline indicator in case health problems begin to appear.

The problem with cutting-edge research is that it often takes years to be accessed by the general public. Hopefully our facilities will go to the leading edge and encourage their residents to keep their micro flora healthy today.

Brian Hughes





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Sickle Point as seen from the air. (Kaleden Community Association - David Mai)
Second town hall for Sickle Point on Jan. 27

The first town hall was cut short due to technical issues

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

The facility in Summerland has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health funds 75 of the beds. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Six more months for temporary Summerland Seniors Village adminstrator

The temporary administrator was appointed following site visits and concerns from Interior Health

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Most Read