Investigators who work in the area of famine relief and undernutrition understand well that not every intervention in effective in relieving the long-term effects of poor nutrition. While some are very good at improving weight and height, sustainable interventions and programs are not always as successful. Recently, it has been proposed that one challenge to such programs is the host micrbiome that may reduce the delivery of nutrients to the body.
A group of scientists from Brazil and Holland and I recently published a review paper on this topic. In this paper we discuss how infections influence growth and prevent “healthy” growth and further explore the potential relationship between the micro biome, micronutrient deficiency, and the long-term effects of growth retardation. We are hopeful that such reviews stimulate new research in this area as a means of better understanding why stunting persists amidst adequate food availability and intake in many impoverished areas of the world.