Gut Microbiota and Malnutrition
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019) | Viewed by 30486
2. Department of Pediatrics, Vittore Buzzi Children’s Hospital, 20154 Milan, Italy
Interests: enteral and parenteral nutrition; neurologically impaired children; childhood obesity; metabolic syndrome; gut microbiota
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The gut microbiota is involved in the regulation of multiple host pathways and participates in metabolic and immune‐inflammatory axes connecting the gut with the liver, muscle, and brain. The gut microbiota co‐develops with its host from birth and is subjected to a complex interplay that is influenced by host genome, nutrition, and lifestyle. The adult human gastrointestinal tract microbiota has been extensively studied in relation to its role in gut homeostasis and in different diseases.
Malnutrition includes undernutrition and overnutrition and is caused by eating a diet in which nutrients are either not enough or too much, thus causing health problems. Undernutrition can result in underweight, while overnutrition can lead to overweight and obesity.
Alterations in the gut microbiome have been associated with the development of obesity, both in children and in adults. In recent years, the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased substantially worldwide. Recent scientific advances implicate the gut microbiota as a contributor to overnutrition.
On the other hand, eating disorders are increasing too, especially in developed countries, and are an important cause of underweight in children and adolescents.
Some studies have demonstrated a different microbial composition in obese and normal-weight subjects, but very little research on this topic has been carried out in patients affected by eating disorders.
In this context, investigating the possible relationship between nutritional status and the microbiota–gut–brain axis could pave the way to develop alternative approaches to modulate the intestinal microbiota (e.g., probiotics, prebiotics), affecting those physiological pathways that are known to be altered in overweight and underweight conditions.
Dr. Elvira Verduci
Dr. Elisa Borghi
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- gut microbiota
- eating disorders