In flies, the declining state of the intestine is a critical aspect of aging, the strongest determinant of mortality. This central position of the intestine in aging is not the case in mammals, but loss of integrity of the intestinal wall is still a major driver of chronic inflammation. That inflammation in turn accelerates progression of all of the common age-related diseases; it is a major aspect of aging, and control of inflammation is a goal well worth chasing. The practice of calorie restriction has been shown to slow down near all measurable aspects of aging, and the aging of the intestinal wall is no exception, as researchers demonstrate here. The noteworthy aspect of this research is the demonstration that the microbes of the gut do not seem to be all that involved in the pace of decline, which is not what one might expect based on recent years of work on the role of the gut microbiome in aging.
Flies eating a Spartan diet are protected from leaky gut and the systemic inflammation associated with it as they age. Conversely, flies on a rich diet are more prone to developing