Food Insecurity, Malnutrition, and the Microbiome

Vikram J. Christian, Keith R. Miller, Robert G. Martindale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Food insecurity is defined as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources. Although a relationship between food insecurity and malnutrition would seem intuitive, this relationship remains unclear. This review was aimed at summarizing the emerging evidence of the relationship between food insecurity, malnutrition, and intestinal microbial changes.

RECENT FINDINGS: Evidence suggests that malnutrition is certainly associated with alteration in the intestinal microbiome. Alternative theories have been proposed as to the nature of the alteration, whether that be a result of microbial immaturity, dysbiosis, or contributions from both processes. Although the evidence continues to evolve, targeted nutritional therapies in conjunction with specific microbial therapy of probiotics or prebiotics may hold great promise for the treatment of malnutrition in the clinical and community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-360
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Dysbiosis
  • Food desert
  • Food insecurity
  • Hunger
  • Malnutrition
  • Microbial immaturity
  • Microbiome
  • Probiotic


Dive into the research topics of 'Food Insecurity, Malnutrition, and the Microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this