The Human Gut Microbiota and Undernutrition

Science Translational Medicine  06 Jun 2012:
Vol. 4, Issue 137, pp. 137ps12
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004347

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Childhood malnutrition is a global health problem that cannot be attributed to food insecurity alone. The gut microbiota may contribute to this devastating health disorder. In this Perspective, we call for the application of tools and concepts emerging from studies of the human gut microbiota to better understand the nutritional needs of infants and children and the role of the microbiota in the pathogenesis and treatment of undernutrition. This effort will require elucidation of the interrelationships between breast milk composition and the development of the microbiota and immune system in the context of the maternal-infant dyad.

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