Probiotics Linked to Improvements for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. A new study suggests that taking probiotic supplements may improve diarrhea and constipation, as well as decrease total scores on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC).
Participants in the study included 25 children with ASD. For six months, three times daily, they took a supplement containing 10 billion CFUs of five different probiotics: Lactocillus acidophilus, Lactocillus casei, Lactocillus delbruecki, Bifidobacteria longum, and Bifidobacteria bifidum. The supplement also included 8 mg of a branded powder that contained peptidoglycan, muramyl peptides, and nucleotide-containing components derived from L rhamnosus V strain.
The parents of the participants kept a daily record of bowel behavior for 21 days before supplementation, and again during the 21 days following 6 months of supplementation. Before supplementation, 84% of the participants reported moderate to severe constipation and 56% reported moderate to severe diarrhea. Following supplementation, 52% reported decreases in constipation severity, and 48% reported decreases in diarrhea severity
ATEC scores were recorded before supplementation and after. The ATEC measures speech/language/communication, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical behavior..
The researchers found that 88% of the participants had improved scores on the ATEC, indicating a decrease in severity of ASD symptoms.
Researchers from Pure Research Products LLC conducted the study. It was published on April 21, 2013, in Journal of Probiotics & Health.
While probiotics are best known for their positive effects on gut health, they have also been shown to help aid in weight loss, prevent recurring yeast infections, boost the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
You can get more probiotics by eating certain foods such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. For many people, taking a high quality supplement is an easier approach. If you choose this option, be sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.