Diarrhea is both a cause and a consequence of malnutrition in pre-school children in developing countries. About 760,000 pre-school children die from diarrhea-related causes each year.
Probiotics are effective in the control and prevention of diarrhea in children.
For children to receive these benefits, it is important that probiotic bacteria survive in the gastrointestinal tract and colonize the intestinal walls. Peanut butter is a major ingredient of foods used to treat severe malnutrition. Georgia researchers have found that peanut butter is also able to protect different probiotic bacteria during storage and under simulated gastrointestinal conditions. The probiotic-laden peanut butter also inhibited the growth of Salmonella spp. and Listeria.
This discovery shows that peanut butter may be a suitable carrier to deliver probiotics to improve the gastrointestinal health of children in developing countries.