Gut bacteria, autism and GAPS Diet


While autism has traditionally been treated as a condition of the brain, the Scientific American explained that as many as nine out of 10 individuals with this disorder also suffer from leaky gut syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. Research into this gut-brain connection has lead scientists to consider connecting this specific composition of bacteria in the intestinal track, called gut microbiome, to certain autism symptoms.

New research exploring the gut-brain connection
Now, a recent study published in Molecular Autism presents further evidence into this critical relationship between the gut and the brain in regards to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study explores problems in the gut epithelial barrier (leaky gut issues) and the permissive blood – brain barrier (BBB) with ASD.

“A recent study presents further evidence into this relationship between the gut and the brain.”

Scientists from Harvard Medical School and Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center, stated that while there are not definitive explanations regarding environmental triggers for ASD, inflammation and immunity issues have been suggested by certain experts and research. The researchers analyzed protein expression and genes profiles in postmortem cerebral cortexes and cerebellum tissues of eight subjects with ASD.

“Our findings suggest there is a molecular mechanism linking the gut and brain that involves both the intestine and the BBB in the pathophysiology of ASD,” researcher Maria Rosaria Fiorentino explained to Medscape Medical News. “Elucidating the molecular basis of gut and BBB impairment in ASD will be the first step toward the design of more targeted and effective therapies. If we can prevent alterations of the function of these barriers, we may be able to treat the GI symptoms and/or autism core symptoms in the ASD population.”

ASD, leaky gut and GAPS Diet
At the moment, researchers are not positive about just how much of an impact gut bacteria could have on behavior or the brain. However, some experts suggest that leaky gut syndrome may allow harmful substances to pass into the bloodstream and brain by default. Additionally, a study published in 2014 revealed that diet plays an essential role in the maintenance and establishment of microbial diversity in the gut. From birth, consumption habits can impact the amount of healthy gut bacteria present in the body, along with the development of leaky gut problems. 

Scientists are not yet sure about the impact of the connection between the gut and the brain. Despite the ongoing research, many GAPS Diet participants have suggested they have found relief from their leaky gut syndrome, which could have further positive benefits for the rest of the body, including the brain.

For additional information about the GAPS Diet and how to get started, you can consult with a Certified GAPS Practitioner and visit our website today!

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