Microbiome Keys to Malnutrition

The right mix of gut microbes could help the recovery of malnourished children—who often fail to thrive even after therapy, suggest 2 new studies published in Science.
Tahmeed Ahmed, of Bangladesh’s International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, noticed Jeffrey Gordon’s work at Washington University in St. Louis linking certain gut microbes to obesity. It sparked Ahmed's curiosity over the microbiome’s role in malnutrition, too.
Their labs collaborated to establish the importance of microbiome maturity on healthy development. After starting with animal research, they nailed down specific microbiome strains linked to malnutrition with fecal samples from healthy infants in Bangladesh.
Gordon’s lab then pinpointed an ideal combo of foods to boost microbiome maturity: chickpea, banana, soy and peanut.
Now, a larger group of malnourished children will get the microbe-boosting diet for 3 months to help determine if this could be a game-changer.

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