Fiber May Alleviate Autism Symptoms, Doctor Says
Introducing fiber into the diets of children with autism may be connected to alleviating symptoms of the condition, according to nutritional biochemist Dr. Shawn Talbott. Autism is an increasingly common diagnosis in the United States, with one in fifty-nine children identified as having the condition, according to recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). “What your gut tells your brain — and vice versa-is part of what scientists call the gut-brain axis,” Talbott was quoted as saying in a report this month by Newsmax. “The good bacteria called probiotics in your gut create most of the serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters responsible for your mood.
Talbott described autism as “one of the classic brain-gut dysfunction diseases.” “When the gut has an imbalance of the wrong kind of bacteria, it sends improper signals to the brain,” he said. “That can show up as irritability. So, the question is, ‘How can we change the bacteria in the gut so that the child feels and behaves better?’”
Talbott believes the answer may lie in soluble fiber, also known as prebiotic fiber, which feeds the good bacteria to create a healthier probiotic balance. Talbott says that, while this theory might have been scoffed at a decade ago, current studies have confirmed it.
“Ten years ago, if researchers had told universities they wanted to give fiber to address the symptoms of autism, they would have been laughed out of the room,” he said. “Yet today, early studies have found a connection between soluble fiber intake and management of ASD symptoms.” Talbott says there is already “very good scientific evidence that mental wellness problems such as depression, anxiety and ADHD are not just ‘brain’ problems but ‘gut-brain’ problems that can be significantly improved by interventions that improve microbiome balance.”
As evidence, Talbott cites a study by the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, which found that adding soluble fiber known in the U.S. as Sunfiber reduced the irritability of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Aside from Fiber, Talbott says that “controlling stress, getting enough sleep and being physically active can all be amazingly beneficial to maintain gut function and improve brain performance.” Source: https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/fiber/2019/04/09/id/910812/