Adjusting the intestinal bacteria of malnourished children could help them grow

We carry countless types of bacteria in our gut, but in malnourished children, many beneficial intestinal microbes lack the fuel to grow. Now, a clinical trial suggests that a new dietary supplement could help restore the intestinal bacteria of malnourished children, helping them gain weight and grow up healthy.

The trial took place in Mirpur district of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and researchers created a new dietary supplement from locally available ingredients, including chickpeas, soy flour, peanuts, green bananas, oil and sugar. Compared to children who received standard treatment for malnutrition – caloric “ready-to-eat supplements” (RUSF) – children received a new supplement weight and gained height faster.