Bacteria and Malnutrition

A recent study
published in Science Magazine found that deficiences in a person's gut flora can be a major causal factor in the incidence of the form of malnutrition known as kwashiorkor

The study examined sets of twins in Malawi. Seven percent of the pairs of twins studied included a healthy twin and a malnutritioned twin, even though both were fed the same diet.

Through the course of the study, scientists
discovered that those children with kwashiorkor also had a particular gut bacteria
that, when combined with a very basic diet, caused malnutrition in mice.  This bacteria inhibited the creation of
certain amino acids that the human body cannot make by itself. 

Science magazine is available by library subscription to FAO staff in HQ or remotely via the FAO Secure Access Gateway.


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This blog is maintained by reference librarians of the David Lubin Memorial Library, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Entries in this blog are for discussion purposes only. They express the views of their author(s) and not necessarily that of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The designations employed in this blog do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Links to other web sites are provided for the user's convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.
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