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A Gut Check for Autism

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Even mainstream science is realizing the importance of the gut microbiome to autism and healthy child development.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s autism research has focused on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the most ubiquitous herbicide in the world. The side effects of autism, she found, closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity. The steadily rising use of Roundup on American lawns and farms closely correlates to the rising tide of autism.

But the problem probably goes beyond glyphosate. You may recall our story on the CDC whistleblower who revealed the government’s deliberate concealment of the link between the MMR vaccine (for measles, mumps, and rubella) and a sharply increased risk of autism, particularly in African American boys. Other studies now show a link between children’s exposure to pesticides and autism. Kids who live in homes with vinyl floors, which can emit phthalate chemicals, are more likely to have autism as are children whose mothers smoked. And the research now acknowledges that environmental contaminants such as PCBs, PBDEs, and mercury may alter brain functioning even before a child is born. (For tips on avoiding environmental exposures, take a look at this checklist.)

Many children with ASD also experience gastrointestinal problems. They have significantly different gut flora compared to those that do not have ASD. Researchers suspect that the ASD child’s gut microbiome—and its trillions of bacteria that are integral to human health—becomes compromised early in life. This disruption, combined with environmental exposures and genetic factors, creates the “perfect storm” for ASD to develop. It is also worth remembering that children delivered by surgery do not pick up their mother’s friendly vaginal bacteria which can also have significant negative consequences.

Research is also increasingly demonstrating the connection between the gut and the brain. One particular gut bacterium has been found in smaller quantities in children with ASD. When fed to mice with symptoms similar to autism in humans, their behavior improved. The mice became less anxious, communicated more with other mice, and showed less repetitive behavior.

In addition, Dr. Mercola reports that a diet high in good-quality fats that also restricts things like sugar, gluten, and grains may bring about tremendous improvement in kids with ASD.

Much more research must be done to confirm the gut-brain connection, and turn it into treatments, but early results are encouraging. Even mainstream medicine is gradually and reluctantly starting to embrace the importance of the gut microbiome to human health after decades of ignoring it or undermining it with antibiotics and other drugs such as acid blockers among many others.

 

Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health

More Autism Than Previously Thought?

Science, the Monsanto Way

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  • casey massey

    These articles are to vague to be helpful. I am raising two grandsons. One is on the spectrum…diagnosed at three…and the other has been showing similar signs for a long time and is not quite three. So the second child was delivered C-section. Both children were exposed to meth and other chemicals before birth. I have had the second child since he was 4 days old and the older boy now 6 since he was five months of age. I have used organic and gluten free products where I had access and could afford such products, but sometimes it is difficult. The children’s primary care doctors are only interested in giving them their shots and the autism clinics are in neighboring towns. I have a gas guzzeling truck and have only had that recently. The community resources are not really interested in helping with anything but traditional ABA and they are not very good at that. Not one physician has talked to me about diet. I have gotten all information from researching myself and cannot really say at this point if these efforts will have long term success. The immediate results are hard to judge since so many other factors are in play.

    • holisticpoet

      Casey,
      From everything I’ve researched the gut bacteria are crucial to improving ASD. Eliminating sugar, gluten, hydrogenated oils and all chemicals and processed foods helps. But without replenishing the gut bacteria improvement is slow. I suggest you research Bravo super probiotic yogurt and Dr. Ruggerio. Also Clive de Carlo on you tube. This may really help you to get on the right track.

    • Bruce Stewart

      The C-section is unfortunate since that is our first exposure to beneficial bacteria. The birth canal changes pH and bacteria type shifts before birth. Get a good infant probiotic. Goat milk based formulas are a good start. Fiber is essential to feeding and growing a good microbiome. That comes before the good fats. A fiber like substance called resistant starch is also very beneficial to feeding the bacteria in the colon. It is found in green bananas, cashews. Also rice and potatoes that have been cooked and then cooled. research to find other sources. Avoid antibiotics if at all possible! It can take years to undo the harm they do. The microbiome in the gut produces more “brain” chemicals than the brain does. Things like GABA, serotonin and dopamine. A healthy person may have 300 different bacteria strains so a probiotic is helpful but not complete by any means. Lots of exposure to nature can help even pets.