National News Analysis

22 May 2024, 6:39 AM

CAN PROBIOTICS HELP IN IMPROVING NUTRIENT ABSORPTION FOR MALNOURISHED PEOPLE

Living in a country like India which is home to one fifth of the world’s population, we cannot help but worry about the state of health and nutrition in the country.
The recent National Nutrition survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was an eye opener. It showed that despite economic growth during the last few years in India, 14% of India’s population is undernourished.
More than 30% children under five years are stunted and more than 50% children, young girls and women are anemic (nutritional deficiency of iron and other essential minerals, and vitamins in the body).
In addition to undernutrition, changes in diet and lifestyle have led to obesity which is a risk factor for Non – Communicable diseases like Cancer, heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 19% of men and 21% of women are obese and 73 million adults are affected by diabetes.
There is no quick fix to this alarming problem. It would just mean looking at health and nutrition in a more holistic manner to ensure better quality and quantity of food and a healthy lifestyle. However, nutrition loses its meaning if the food that we eat is not being taken up by the body. Therefore, getting the best from the food we eat is only possible if the intestine is healthy.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has shaken us and what stares right into our face is the link between food and immunity to help us stay protected. This is when the role of the intestine becomes very important not just to digest food but also to absorb all the immune boosting nutrients from them.
This important organ which is the site for digestion of food and absorption of nutrients is often the most neglected and therefore it is not surprising that more than half the Indian population suffers from poor intestinal health. This makes us wonder whether there could be a link between nutrition and intestinal health.

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