Study finds no significant causal link between gut microbiome and autism

Study finds no significant causal link between gut microbiome and autism

Is a difference in gut microflora a factor leading to autism, or is autism causing the microbial changes? The hypothesis that gut health influences autism has been turned on its head by a new Australian study. Based on the analysis of microflora in children, the study indicates that rather than playing a causal role, these microbiome differences are the result of restricted diets associated with autism. Our understanding of the gut-brain connection and the role our microbiome plays in a whole raft of health conditions is growing rapidly. Alongside autism, obesity , inflammatory bowel diseases , autoimmune diseases and depression have all been linked to what’s going on in our gut. Generally, a more diverse microbiome has been associated with better health. A correlation between autism and alterations in our microbiota has been confirmed by animal and human studies. One mouse study showed that alterations in the microbiome promote autism-like behaviors , and clinical trials using fecal transplants have been used to “treat” or minimize autism by improving the gut microbiome. It’s well understood that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pain are common in children with autism. Studies suggest approximately 40 percent of children with […]

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