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Connection Between Gut Microbiota and Autism Discovered

A high proportion of autistic children suffer from gastrointestinal disorders, suggesting a link between autism and abnormalities in gut microbial functions. A new study investigated this link and found that having a low range of beneficial microbiota may be associated with the development of autism.

The study included 20 autistic patients between the ages of 3 and 16 as well as 20 participants without autism to act as a control. The researchers used a method called high-throughput to analyze the gut microflora in fecal samples of all of the participants.

After examining the data, the researchers found that lower diversity of gut microbes was correlated with autistic symptoms. There were three bacteria in particular – Prevotella, Coprococcus, and Veillonellaceae – that were especially low in the autistic group when compared with the not autistic group.

The researchers noted that the imbalance of gut microbiota and its effect on the immune system may be partially responsible for other health problems that autistic children often have.

Researchers from Arizona State University conducted the study. It was published on July 3, 2013, in PLoS One.

If you’re looking to improve gut health, the solution can be as easy as taking a prebiotic or probiotic supplement. Prebiotics help your body produce the good bacteria called probiotics by serving as food for the friendly bacteria.

Having a varied composition of bacteria in your digestive system is essential for good gut health and for good health overall. Previous studies have linked healthy gut bacteria with strengthening the immune system, better gum health, weight loss, and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

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