Reference Number: 664
There is still controversy surrounding the effectiveness of dietary interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), namely the gluten-free/casein free diet and the ketogenic diet. Additionally, as studies mainly investigated their impact on ASD symptoms and behaviors, much remains unknown about their mechanisms of action and physiological effects. Given the recent surge of global interest in the gut-brain axis and its involvement in ASD, we underline the importance of understanding the physiological effects of such restrictive diets that remove certain nutritional items from one’s diet. Some evidence has emerged with findings of the gut-microbial, inflammatory, and neuronal effects of these diets. We propose probiotics as a potential alternative that can serve similar biological purposes as these elimination diets and outline different physiological routes whereby probiotics can lead to improvements for individuals with ASD. We hope that future research can delineate the complete physiological effects of these diets. Such knowledge can guide the creation of more informed interventions, which conserve the components resulting in positive behavioral change while being less restrictive and devoid of the harmful effects of limiting certain nutrients.
The study highlights the inclusion of probiotics as a safer alternative to elimination diets, with their ability to target multiple physiological areas such as decreasing GI symptoms, reducing GI inflammation, strengthening the intestinal barrier, and improving the gut microbiota. Though the biological evidence for the effects of dietary interventions and their mechanisms of actions is very new, it is a promising area of research for designing future treatments for alleviating ASD symptoms that are less restrictive and more informed about their holistic effects, and thus are devoid of potential harmful or aggravating effects on other physiological systems of individuals with ASD.
Significance of this study to the baker
Probiotics can be used as part of your every day approach to eating bread to correct the gut dysbiosis – our recipes help you to incorporate ingredients like kefir, and kimchi and sauerkraut. You will learn this as part of the way we teach you to bake eat and share your bread. Eating more live foods has shown a decrease the production of endotoxins, reduce the gut inflammation and permeability, (and prevent the endotoxins from passing into the blood and affecting the central nervous system.)
We suggest slowly increasing live bacteria as this study shows that the biological improvement also corresponded to behavioural outcomes. Diet changes by increasing probiotics has indicated that children with autism have shown significant improvements in their ability to concentrate and carry out orders, attesting again to the importance of the gut-brain axis in influencing behavior.