Fascinating’: Probiotics may offer ‘clinically significant’ benefits for some autistic children

Probiotics are commonly used by people who suffer from regular bloating problems and/or on-going digestive disturbances, though are researched for purposes that extend far beyond these difficulties. Recent data has signalled the positive impact that eight probiotic strains may confer upon behaviours profiles in some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The study, carried out in Italy, found that that a combination of Streptococcus, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus could reduce scores on the Total Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (a measure of severity) in autistic children without gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, whilst those with GI symptoms showed improvements in terms of their symptoms, adaptive functioning and sensory profiles.

Hands holding puzzle ribbon for autism awareness

Separate research over recent years has focused upon the role of the gut microbiota in causing ASD, with data showing that those with this disorder have higher GI symptoms compared with their ‘typically-developing’ peers, in addition to disrupted intestinal permeability and evidence of systemic and intestinal inflammation. Highlighting the possible link between the gut and the brain, this article highlights further details of the study and is well worth a read if you find the time this week. Link to article