Guest Post: Children with autism have significantly different gut bacteria

24 Jan

Today, I’m passing my blogging pass over to the lovely ‘Soraya Janmohamed’ from OptiBac Probiotics (my sponsor for last years Mad blog awards)

 A study published earlier this month has found that autistic children have significantly different gut bacteria to children without autism.

A novel method of analysis called ‘PCR’ (Polymerase chain reaction – a technique where scientists copy and examine DNA) allowed researchers to detect high levels of members of the bacteria ‘Sutterrella’in many of the children with autism, and in none

of the children without. Sutterrella was found in 12 of 23 of the autistic children but in none of the 9 participants without autism who took part in the study as a control.

This is not the first study to demonstrate a link between autism and gut bacteria (or microbiota) and children with autism are often thought to anecdotally suffer with gastrointestinal problems such as food intolerances, diarrhoea or constipation.  The fact that this study shows a little-recognised bacterium to be present in more than half  the autism children with autism is a significant finding, and calls for further research in the area to be done.

For an in-depth look at previous findings in gut bacteria, autism, and the potential of probiotics (good bacteria), take a look at this article on probiotics and autism.
Isolated bacteria - Micrococcus luteus

Interestingly, a large survey released in the last few days has found autism to often go

hand in hand with other mental & behavioural conditions in children, such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, or learning disabilities.  Anxiety and similar conditions were more common in the slightly older children with autism. 92, 000 parents of children under 17 years old with autism took part in the phone survey in the USA.  This could again be of significance, partly as  anxiety has been linked to gut bacteria in the past.


OptiBac Probiotic Facebook page:

2 Responses to “Guest Post: Children with autism have significantly different gut bacteria”

  1. Kate on Thin Ice January 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Just popping by to invite you personally to the new Britmums group Charity Connections – Blogging It Forward

  2. Gavin Bollard January 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    While I’m sure that there is a link of some sort, it’s certainly not a direct one. These a very small studies which wouldn’t be accepted by the scientific community.

    I think it’s safe to say that a child with autism is more likely to have different gut bacteria but it’s not safe to say that all children with autism have different bacteria.

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