children's health

New research out of Washington University could help explain why malnourished children suffer long-term health effects, even after medical treatment.

As young children develop, the community of bacteria and other microbes in their intestines develops with them. In healthy children, the community reaches maturity about the time a child turns two years old.

Washington University microbiologist Jeff Gordon calls those tens of trillions of intestinal microbes “an organ within an organ,” because of the key role they play in helping people digest food and absorb its nutrients.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

A new report that tracks the wellbeing of Missouri children indicates some improvements in infant mortality and teen pregnancy rates, but it also shows an increased number of abused and neglected children in the state.