FOUR WAYS TO SUPPORT GUT HEALTH
Gluten- and casein-free diet.A study published inMetabolic Brain Disease found that excluding gluten and casein led to significant improvements in ASD scores. “A gluten-free, casein-free diet is anti-inflammatory, and can help heal a leaky gut by restoring intestinal integrity and enabling the gut barrier to heal,” says Kenneth A. Bock, M.D.
Probiotics. Beneficial bacteria are integral to a balanced microbiome, but many ASD kids are lacking friendly flora. Research by Rutgers University shows that probiotics can improve GI dysfunction and reduce the severity of ASD symptoms.
Prebiotics. To thrive, beneficial bacteria need plenty of prebiotic fiber. In a study of 30 autistic children published in Microbiome, six weeks of prebiotic supplementation led to reduced anti-social behavior.
Preconception care. Research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests that a mom’s microbiome may partially determine her child’s ASD risk. Because babies inherit their microbes from their mothers, it’s crucial that pregnant women have healthy gut flora to pass on. Bock recommends that expecting moms ensure adequate intake of probiotics, prebiotics, vitamin D and fish oil, both before and during pregnancy, to help decrease inflammation and promote a healthy maternal microbiome.