Scientists suspect that your gut microbiome, the mix of bacteria that inhabit your intestines, affects your health in many ways, but a surprising new finding suggests that a healthy microbiome may even ease the symptoms of autism.
The small study of 18 children with autism who also had severe digestive problems found that a fecal transplant to rebalance their gut microbiome reduced their digestive symptoms and their autism symptoms. The improvements persisted during the two-year study follow-up period.
“We treated children with autism by altering the gut microbiota. All had gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and those symptoms were reduced dramatically, and their behavior improved as well,” study senior author Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a professor at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, said.
“When we checked again two years later, behavior was even better and gastrointestinal symptoms were still much better, but not as good as right after treatment.”