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Probiotics or good bacteria have shown promise in the potential to maintain a healthy gut. Many studies have provided evidence on the health benefits of probiotics. Now, the popular philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates said he believes probiotics could help stem malnutrition over the next two decades.

Bill Gates delivered a lecture as recipient of the 2019 Professor Hawking Fellowship at Cambridge University, emphasizing the problem of hunger across the globe. Gates has been known to tackle health issues and inequality through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He predicted that malnutrition could be curbed, and in turn, scientists will be able to reduce the number of nutrition-related deaths worldwide. With malnutrition solved, other health issues such as asthma, allergies, and other autoimmune diseases will follow.

“I get asked a lot what I would choose if I could only solve one problem. My answer is always malnutrition. It’s the greatest health inequity in the world. Period. By solving malnutrition, we can fix one of the biggest contributors to inequity,” Gates explained.

He said he believes that probiotics could help solve malnutrition, explaining that a deeper understanding of the human microbiome is important.

Hence, he wants to further understand the other cause of malnutrition, which has something to do with an imbalance in the gut. Children who suffer from starvation may continue to struggle even when their diet returns to normal. He insists that the solution to the problem is to understand the gut microbiome, and with this, scientists can formulate and engineer new interventions to fix the imbalance.

Probiotic pills in the future can help battle not only malnutrition but also other conditions, including asthma, obesity, autoimmune diseases, and allergies, among others. With new studies hinting the health benefits of probiotics, Gates believe they are the key ingredients that can make new pills to solve malnutrition, especially in third world countries where hunger and starvation are rampant.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have been proven to provide health benefits, especially in the gut. They are usually found in food such as yogurt and drinks. However, they are mostly taken as supplements.