Gut Bacteria and Child Health - Seeker's Thoughts

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Gut Bacteria and Child Health

Starving children don’t recover, even when fed enough?
Even after starving children get enough to eat again, they often fail to grow. Their brains don’t develop properly, and they remain susceptible to diseases, even many years later. 
According to the UNICEF data, nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition; undernutrition puts children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increases the frequency and severity of such infections, and delays recovery.

Two studies came in science this year and now they suggest to restore the right gut bacteria may help these children recover.

How Gut Bacteria can be increased?

The food can increase gut bacteria includes-
1. Bananas

2. Chickpea
3. Peanuts 

A diet rich in bananas, chickpea, and peanuts improves gut bacteria in malnourished children, helping kick-start their growth research suggests.
These foods were found to be particularly good at boosting healthy gut bacteria.

Malnutrition rates remain alarming?
According to the UNICEF data, nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition; undernutrition puts children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increases the frequency and severity of such infections, and delays recovery.

Also Read, 

The interaction between undernutrition and infection can create a potentially lethal cycle of worsening illness and deteriorating nutritional status.

Poor nutrition in the 1,000 days of a child’s life can also lead to stunted growth, which is associated with impaired cognitive ability and reduced school and work performance.
While in 2019 study observed that malnutrition estimates show that stunting prevalence has been declining since the year 2000, nearly one in four – 149 million children under 5 – were stunted in 2018, an over 49 million suffered from wasting.

How scientists have found good bacteria helpful?
Scientists from Washington University, St Louis believed now all foods are equally good at fixing the problem.
In a study by researchers the main types of bacteria present in healthy gits of Bangladeshi children. And they had been tested which sets of food boosted these important bacterial communities in mice and pigs on small groups.
After one month of trial, reported in the journal science, involving 68 malnourished Bangladeshi children aged 12-18 months, the research team tested out different diets on small groups.
Researchers have monitored the children’s recovery, one diet stood out- which contained bananas, soy, peanut flour and chickpeas in a paste. This diet was found to boost gut microbes linked to both growth brain development and immune function.

What was the exact target of scientists?
According to the scientists they had been to target microbes to heal, as microbes don’t see banana or peanut- they just see a blend of nutrition’s they can use and share.
This formulation worked best in animals and humans, producing the greatest repair. Moreover, other diets, dominated by rice or lentils, fared less well and sometimes and damaged the even more.
This is a community if microbes that extends far beyond the gut and it is intimately linked to health status.
What exactly is Microbiome?
We humans are mostly microbes, over 100 trillion of them. Microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one. The majority live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes - bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - that live on and inside the human body.
 The number of genes in all the microbes in one person’s microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome. The microbiome may weigh as much as five pounds.
The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation. The microbiome was not generally recognized to exist until the late 1990s.

What does the microbiome have to do with health?
The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity and nutrition. The bacteria living in and on us are not invaders but beneficial colonizers.
 Autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia are associated with dysfunction in the microbiome.
Disease-causing microbes accumulate over time, changing gene activity and metabolic processes and resulting in an abnormal immune response against substances and tissues normally present in the body. 
Autoimmune diseases appear to be passed in families not by DNA inheritance but by inheriting the family’s microbiome.

What is gut bacteria?
The gastrointestinal tract (digestive tract, digestion tract, GI tract, GIT, gut, or alimentary canal) is an organ system within humans and other animals which takes in food, digests it to extract and absorb energy and nutrients and expels the remaining waste as feces. 

Understanding bacteria- All bacteria are not bad.

Cleaning all bacteria is not a good thing. Some bacteria help cleaning, put on weight and being courageous and happier. Having good bacteria and some bad will create a balance as killing all bacteria creates more allergies among humans.
How to increase gut bacteria?

 Regretfully there has to be changed in the diet to increase gut bacteria. Start by eating a nutritious diet high in fiber-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A “western” diet that’s high in fat and sugar and low in fiber can kill certain types of gut bacteria, making your microbiota less diverse.

Having a more varied gut microbiota may promote better health and, in turn, reduce your risk of disease.

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