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Researchers have made a breakthrough in nutrition for autism.

Autism is an incredibly complex disorder, and scientists are still striving to determine the exact machinations that result in its unique combination of behavioral, physical and cognit​ive symptoms. In previous posts, we've touched on many theories regarding treatment, including the potential merits of specialized nutrition for autism and sensory-based therapy. Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) have found that probiotic treatments may help manage common aspects of autism that were previously linked to brain health.

According to a press release, researchers were inspired to look into probiotic intervention because of the prevalence of digestive issues among children with autism.

"Traditional research has studied autism as a genetic disorder and a disorder of the brain, but our work shows that gut bacteria may contribute to ASD-like symptoms in ways that were previously unappreciated," explained CalTech biology professor Sarkis Mazmanian.

Mazmanian and his colleagues devised a series of probiotic treatments that were administered to mice with symptoms mirroring those of children with autism. They found that targeting gut health in this way actually resulted in a notable improvement among mice in terms of how they interacted with other animals and the anxiety they demonstrated. It was also shown to mend an intestinal issue found in many of the subjects.

There is no cure for autism, but breakthroughs like this one provide hope for families everywhere who are committed to helping children with autism enjoy the best quality of life possible. Further research is necessary to explore the connection between probiotics and autism, so be sure consult a medical professional before making drastic changes to your child's diet. 

For more information on our probiotics, click here.