Malnutrition is a brutal issue that has plagued the world for years and affects communities that can’t afford to help themselves. Recently there has been a link between malnutrition and the condition of the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome describes the microbiota, micro organisms, that live in the digestive tract and have  David Relman, a microbiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, explained the two studies that believe that tailoring a specific diet for people suffering from malnutrition can improve their gut microbiomes and subsequently improve their health.  Tahmeed Ahmed, director of nutrition research at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, and Jeffrey Gordon, a gastroenterologist and microbiome researcher at Washington University, started two studies into how malnutrition effects the microbiome. After observing healthy and malnutrition babies grow into toddlers, the two noticed how malnutrition causes the micro biome to remain immature and stay in the same state as a babies instead of maturing like a normal person’s. The two then conducted studies on mice looking for changes in mice with malnutrition and found that the mice had weaker bones, less muscle mass, and impaired metabolism. From these results the two scientists have deduced certain foods that should be given to help fix immature mircobiomes. Current food in care packages do not have these necessary requirements to fix microbiomes. They contain food like rice and powedered milk, but chickpea, soy, peanut flours, and bananas have been proven to help the microbiome and should be added into care packages. By targeting the microbiome in malnutrition, these scientists have been able to reverse the negative affects and force the body to catch up on lost growth. The leading obstacle with this discovery is that malnutrition effects the poor, who do not have access to the healthier kinds of food required to repair their crippled microbiomes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email