WASHINGTON — New research suggests manipulating what kinds of bacteria live in the gut might lead to a new way to treat children suffering chronic malnutrition.
The right bugs appear to help in getting the most out of a poor diet.
Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis transferred gut bacteria from malnourished children in Malawi into mice so they could tweak the bugs. Healthier bacteria helped the animals grow even though they didn't eat more or better food.
We share our bodies with trillions of bacteria, and Thursday's research is the latest to highlight the crucial roles they play in our health.
More research is needed before testing children, but the researchers teased out several bacteria species that seem key.
The research is published in the journals Science and Cell.
Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press