Dysfunctional gut bacteria combined with a poor diet contribute to the development of kwashiorkor, suggesting that nutrition alone will not wipe out this acute form of malnutrition, according to a study from the United States and Malawi (Smith MI et al. Science. 2012;339:548-554).
The researchers studied 317 Malawian twin pairs during the first 3 years of their lives. About half of the twin pairs remained healthy while in the other half either 1 or both twins became malnourished.
Friedrich MJ. Gut Microbes and Malnutrition. JAMA. 2013;309(11):1101. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1801