"Micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and parasitic infections: Consequences of their co-existence"
The association between micronutrient deficiencies and undernutrition in children of low and middle income countries is well established. Similarly, the relationship between parasitic infections with micronutrient deficiencies and undernutrition is this population is well recognized. In recent years, the relationship of micronutrient deficiencies with obesity has been explored. Micronutrient deficiencies have been observed in obese and overweight Mexican children living in rural areas, and these deficiencies may be contributing to the systemic inflammation observed in obesity. The effects of intestinal parasitic infections in obese children has not been widely investigated. In rural areas in Mexico, a “non-pathogenic” protozoa Entamoeba coli was related to overweight and obesity in school-aged children, and the infection with this parasite may increase energy intake. Coexistence of micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and parasitic infections was present in approximately 15% of these children. More studies are needed to explore the consequences of parasitic infection in populations with high prevalence of obesity and micronutrient deficiencies.
Dr. Olga P. García, was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. She studied Food Chemistry at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and continued her education studying her Master Degree in Nutrition and a PhD in International Nutrition, both from the University of California, Davis, in the United States. She is currently a full time Professor and Senior Scientist at the School of Natural Sciences of the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, in Querétaro, Mexico. Her main research interests are bioavailability of micronutrients, the impact of micronutrient deficiencies on health, food security and food environment.