The intestinal microbiota is necessary to ensure optimum postnatal growth and contributes to determining the size of adult individuals, notably in the event of undernutrition. The key element in this relationship is Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), whose production and activity are in part controlled by the microbiota. This has recently been demonstrated in mice by scientists at the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon (CNRS/ENS Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), the Laboratoire CarMeN (INSERM/INRA/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/Insa Lyon) , and Unit BF2I (INRA/INSA Lyon) . These findings, published on 19 February 2016 in Science, and obtained in collaboration with researchers from the Czech Academy of Sciences, also show that some strains of intestinal bacteria belonging to the Lactobacillus plantarum species may favor the postnatal growth of animals, thus offering a new opportunity to combat the harmful effects of chronic infantile undernutrition.
References : Lactobacillus plantarum strain maintains growth of infant mice during chronic undernutrition. Martin Schwarzer, Kassem Makki, Gilles Storelli, Irma Machuca-Gayet, Dagmar Srutkova, Petra Hermanova, Maria Elena Martino, Severine Balmand, Tomas Hudcovic, Abdelaziz Heddi, Jennifer Rieusset, Hana Kozakova, Hubert Vidal, François Leulier. Science, 19 février 2016.