Microbiome and autism… Feeding your gut microbiome could exacerbate, or modulate, autism symptoms. That understanding is incredibly empowering to those that must manage autism!
It is now undisputed that the gut microbiome differs in autism compared to healthy controls:
“At the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology held in May in Boston, researchers at Arizona State University reported the results of an experiment in which they measured the levels of various microbial by-products in the feces of children with autism and compared them with those found in healthy children. The levels of 50 of these substances, they found, significantly differed between the two groups. And in a 2013 study published in PLOS ONE, Italian researchers reported that, compared with healthy kids, those with autism had altered levels of several intestinal bacterial species, including fewer Bifidobacterium, a group known to promote good intestinal health.” “Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Autism”, Scientific American, Aug 2014.
What causes the microbiome community of trillions of bacteria, to differ?
“Researchers do not yet know how exactly gut bacteria might influence behavior, but one hypothesis is that a leaky gut may allow substances to pass into the bloodstream that harm the brain. In the mouse study, the probiotic may have helped reshape the microbial ecosystem and made the intestines more robust, preventing the leakage of such substances, says co-author Elaine Y. Hsiao, a microbiologist at Caltech.” “Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Autism”, Scientific American, Aug 2014.
If you are a reader of my site, you know very well that these investigations are all state of the art, cutting edge research. That said, you certainly do not need to wait for years of clinical trial studies to prove what many know ancedotally: that a GAPS, SCD, or PALEO type diet affects the microbiome in ways that successfully manage autism (not to mention the many other chronic diseases). And thankfully, such studies are now beginning:
SCD resources to learn the protocols are: Pecanbread.com: SCD is the autism diet that is in accord with the latest scientific findings. Also, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle”, the official website (and book) for SCD. Also be certain to check out and join the associated yahoo health blogs for questions you may have. Incredible knowledgeable moderators there guide protocol implementation and trouble shoot areas of concern.
It may very well take years for science to prove how diet affects the microbiome, but you don’t need to wait to test this autism strategy:
“So could autism one day be treated with drugs designed to restore a healthy microbial balance? Perhaps, but autism is the result of a “complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors,” explains Manya Angley, an autism researcher at the University of South Australia, so the solution may not be that simple. Caltech biologist Sarkis K. Mazmanian, co-author of the mouse study, agrees. “Many more years of work will be needed before we are confident that gut bacteria impact autism and whether probiotics are a viable treatment,” he says.” “Gut Bacteria May Play a Role in Autism”, Scientific American, Aug 2014.
Bacteroids fragilis photo is from the “Scientific American” article.
I know of many more studies that link microbiome skew to autism as well as studies published that demonstrate success of dietary management of autism. I will update this area of the blog to reflect them soon!
I am hoping you try dietary modulation of the microbiome, and I hope you try this even if you are needing the autism medications. Lives could be changed forever by your courage to step through this door.
In health and wellness,