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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2018, Article ID 7026198, 15 pages
Review Article

Gut Dysbiosis and Muscle Aging: Searching for Novel Targets against Sarcopenia

1Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
2Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council, Bari, Italy
3Department of Biosciences, Biotechnology and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Bari, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Riccardo Calvani; moc.liamg@inavlac.odraccir

Received 3 August 2017; Revised 28 November 2017; Accepted 5 December 2017; Published 30 January 2018

Academic Editor: Jorg Fritz

Copyright © 2018 Anna Picca et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Advanced age is characterized by several changes, one of which is the impairment of the homeostasis of intestinal microbiota. These alterations critically influence host health and have been associated with morbidity and mortality in older adults. “Inflammaging,” an age-related chronic inflammatory process, is a common trait of several conditions, including sarcopenia. Interestingly, imbalanced intestinal microbial community has been suggested to contribute to inflammaging. Changes in gut microbiota accompanying sarcopenia may be attenuated by supplementation with pre- and probiotics. Although muscle aging has been increasingly recognized as a biomarker of aging, the pathophysiology of sarcopenia is to date only partially appreciated. Due to its development in the context of the age-related inflammatory milieu, several studies favor the hypothesis of a tight connection between sarcopenia and inflammaging. However, conclusive evidence describing the signaling pathways involved has not yet been produced. Here, we review the current knowledge of the changes in intestinal microbiota that occur in advanced age with a special emphasis on findings supporting the idea of a modulation of muscle physiology through alterations in gut microbial composition and activity.