Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

More evidence that autism is linked to gut bacteria

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The gut microbiome seems to play a key role in many ways—for example, it’s been linked to depression and to food cravings. The gut microbiome relies on dietary fiber for its sustenance and health, and about 97% of Americans do not get the minimum recommended daily amount of dietary fiber (and of men age 18-50 the percentage who consume the minimum recommended daily amount is zero. 0%. That means less than 0.5% eat at least the minimum recommended amount. That is stunning to me. The recommended amount:

The national fiber recommendations are (for ages 18-50) 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women, and (for ages 51 and older) 30 grams a day for men and 21 grams a day for women. Another general guideline is to get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet.

I eat about 55g-60g per day, which is easy since my diet consists of whole foods (i.e., no refined foods or processed fods) from plants (dietary fiber comes only from plant foods—meat, dairy, eggs, fish: zero fiber). At the right you can see a link to the post where I describe my diet and the lessons learned in working it out.

If you search “gut microbiome and autism” you will find a list of articles. Nature has an article on the long-term effects of treating the gut microbiome. The abstract reads:

Many studies have reported abnormal gut microbiota in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), suggesting a link between gut microbiome and autism-like behaviors. Modifying the gut microbiome is a potential route to improve gastrointestinal (GI) and behavioral symptoms in children with ASD, and fecal microbiota transplant could transform the dysbiotic gut microbiome toward a healthy one by delivering a large number of commensal microbes from a healthy donor. We previously performed an open-label trial of Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) that combined antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, a stomach-acid suppressant, and fecal microbiota transplant, and observed significant improvements in GI symptoms, autism-related symptoms, and gut microbiota. Here, we report on a follow-up with the same 18 participants two years after treatment was completed. Notably, most improvements in GI symptoms were maintained, and autism-related symptoms improved even more after the end of treatment. Important changes in gut microbiota at the end of treatment remained at follow-up, including significant increases in bacterial diversity and relative abundances of Bifidobacteria and Prevotella. Our observations demonstrate the long-term safety and efficacy of MTT as a potential therapy to treat children with ASD who have GI problems, and warrant a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in the future.

Indeed, if you search “gut microbiome and heart disease” you will find many interesting articles. Try searching “gut microbiome and X” where “X” is a condition of interest.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 November 2019 at 9:09 am

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