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Good bacteria in the intestines help starving children



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Bangladeshi mother and childImage rights
International Center for Disease Studies

A diet rich in bananas, nuts and peanuts, improves intestinal bacteria in undernourished children, helping to start their growth, according to research.

These products have been particularly useful for raising healthy microbes, in American studies of children in Bangladesh.

Bones, brain and body grow.

The World Health Organization said that about 150 million children aged under the age of '50 were underweight.

Many children who are suffering from malnutrition are also weak and small, and they have the incomplete or "immature" community of bacteria in the intestines as compared to healthy children of the same age.

Improvement of good bacteria

This is what scientists from the University of Washington, St. Louis, believed that could be the cause of poor growth – but not all products are equally well suited to the problem.

The researchers studied the main types of bacteria present in the healthy gut of Bangladeshi children.

They then examined which sets of products increased these important bacterial communities in mice and pigs.

Next, in a one-month study, reported in Science magazine, with 68 undressed children in Bangladesh at the age of 12-18 months, the research team tested various diets for small groups.

After a careful observation of the recovery of children, one diet was found – bananas, soy, peanut flour and pinato paste.

It has been found that this diet increases the gut microbes associated with bone growth, brain development, and immune function.

He also used ingredients that were affordable and acceptable to people in Bangladesh.

"Best repair"

Professor Jeffrey Gordon of the University of Washington, who has been studying with colleagues from the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research in Dhaka, Bangladesh, said the goal was to "target microbes for treatment."

"Microbes do not see bananas or peanuts – they just see a mixture of nutrients that they can use and share," he said.

"This formula worked best for animals and people, producing the most repair."

Other diets in which rice or lentils were predominant were lucky, and sometimes even more damaging to the intestines.

Professor Gordon said that it is still not clear why these products work better, but much more testing is now being conducted to see if the diet had a long-term effect on the weight and growth of children.

"It's a community of microbes that extends far beyond the intestines," he said.

"This is closely related to health and we need to identify the mechanisms so that they can also be repaired later in life."

He added that different products in other countries could have similar effects.

What is a microbioma?

  • You are more germs than humans – if you count all cells in the body, then only 43% are people
  • The rest is a microbe, which includes bacteria, viruses, mushrooms and unicellular archeas
  • Human genome – a complete set of genetic instructions for humans – consists of 20,000 instructions called genes
  • But together add all microbes genes, and the figure goes from two to 20 million microbial genes
  • It is known as the second genome and is associated with diseases including allergies, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer drugs and even depression and autism
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