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Review
. 2017 May;106:127-138.
doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2016.02.003. Epub 2016 Feb 4.

Gut Microbiota and Malnutrition

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Review

Gut Microbiota and Malnutrition

Matthieu Million et al. Microb Pathog. .

Abstract

Malnutrition is the leading cause of death worldwide in children under the age of five, and is the focus of the first World Health Organization (WHO) Millennium Development Goal. Breastfeeding, food and water security are major protective factors against malnutrition and critical factors in the maturation of healthy gut microbiota, characterized by a transient bifidobacterial bloom before a global rise in anaerobes. Early depletion in gut Bifidobacterium longum, a typical maternal probiotic, known to inhibit pathogens, represents the first step in gut microbiota alteration associated with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Later, the absence of the Healthy Mature Anaerobic Gut Microbiota (HMAGM) leads to deficient energy harvest, vitamin biosynthesis and immune protection, and is associated with diarrhea, malabsorption and systemic invasion by microbial pathogens. A therapeutic diet and infection treatment may be unable to restore bifidobacteria and HMAGM. Besides refeeding and antibiotics, future trials including non-toxic missing microbes and nutrients necessary to restore bifidobacteria and HMAGM, including prebiotics and antioxidants, are warranted in children with severe or refractory disease.

Keywords: Children; Gut microbiota; Kwashiorkor; Malnutrition.

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