Can Probiotics Help Your Child with Autism Feel Better?
Bacteria in Yoghurt Reduces Antisocial Behavior
Not only can probiotics help autistic children feel better but they may also reverse some ASD symptoms, according to a study.
Deficiency of one kind of gut bacteria has been associated to causing autistic characteristics like social interaction problems.
When scientists added probiotics back to the gut, they learned they could reverse a few autistic symptoms.
The study following earlier research, found that obesity while pregnant can boost kids’ risk of developing autism.
Scientists in Baylor College of Medicine in Texas explored the effects of probiotics.
A gut bacteria which is commonly found in yoghurt, was discovered missing in mice with autistic behavior. Upon the bacteria being added to their diets, it reversed the symptoms.
In a study that used mice, scientists fed 60 females a high-fat diet, which was the same as consuming fast food many times daily.
After producing babies, researchers observed that the offspring demonstrated behavioral deficits like not starting interacting and spending less time with their peers.
The experts then tested a special set of bugs, gut microbiome, to learn if there were differences between gut bacteria of the ones on a high-fat diet and the ones eating normally. Dr. Buffington said: “The sequencing data was so consistent that by looking at the microbiome of an individual mouse we could predict whether its behavior could be impaired.”
Because mice eat each other’s feces, the experts caged them together so they would end up acquiring microbiota from their cage mates.
Both normal mice and socially-impaired mice born to females on a high-fat diet were paired and in only 4 short weeks the gut bacteria had shown in the autistic mice.
The experiment provided eye-opening evidence that beneficial bacteria can be significant for normal social behavior.
It was discovered that Lactobacillus reutgri, found usually in probiotic yoghurt and breast milk, decreased over nine-fold in the microbiome of mice born to females on high-fat diet.
But adding it to their water successfully restored their social behavior.
Dr. Buffington said: “We cultured a strain of Lactobacillus reuteri originally isolated from human breast milk and introduced it into the water of the high-fat-diet offspring.”