Potential Autism Therapy – Probiotics

Potential Autism Therapy - Probiotics

In 2012 a Harvard Medical School publication, states, “the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected – so intimately that they should be viewed as one system.”

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) based on this connection, performed a study exploring the use of probiotics to alleviate symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and achieved some promising results.

Autism spectrum disorder, commonly known simply as autism is characterized by behaviors such as, lessened social interaction, impaired communication, and sometimes repetitive behaviors, to name a few. Many individuals diagnosed with autism are also found to have gastrointestinal or digestive difficulties.

Caltech biology professor, Sarkis K. Mazmanian, says, “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. Gut physiology appears to have effects on what are currently presumed to be brain functions.”

The researchers mimicked autism-like symptoms in mice for their experiment by triggering the immune response of pregnant mice via a “viral mimic.” Previous research has shown that there is risk of giving birth to an autistic child when pregnant women experience a severe viral infection. In fact, the offspring born to the mice in whom the immune response was triggered exhibited autism-like behaviors, and also were found to have “leaky” GI tracts.

These mice were treated with an experimental probiotic, Bacteroides fragilis. Results of the treatment showed they displayed improved communication with other mice and their leaky gut remedied, but, they showed lowered anxiety levels and were less likely to perform repetitive digging actions.

A test of the effects of this probiotic on symptoms of human autism is planned. Mazmanian says, “I think our results may someday transform the way people view possible causes and potential treatments for autism.”

Even though the probiotic treatment does not tackle the genetic component of autism, reasearches say it is still a big step into understanding this spectrum disorder. This study provides further evidence of how vital a healthy gut is to other bodily systems, and especially to the brain.

Probiotics are an essential part of a daily routine. A healthy gut boosts your immune system, and as this study shows, it could also be a means to unlocking more secrets of many uncured illnesses.

For more information on diet, please visit http://blog.hear-our-voices.org/category/diet/

New Research Shows RoundUp® Among Causes of ASD, ADHD, GI Disorders, & More–Safe Produce Tips For Parents!






A new research study published in the journal Entropy this April examines the long-term health effects of the popular herbicide Roundup®, a product of Monsanto, finding significant associations with a variety of conditions “associated with the western diet”[i] including Autism Spectrum Disorder, gastrointestinal disorders, ADHD, and other developmental malformations. The study holds the active ingredient of Roundup®, glyphosate, accountable for blocking the body’s natural detoxifying processes and making it more susceptible to other food born chemical residues and environmental toxins. The study authors chart glyphosate’s interference with crucial detoxifying enzymes, gut microbiota, and various protective mechanisms, asserting that the consequences of the popular herbicide “remarkably explain a great number of diseases and conditions that are prevalent in the modern industrialized world.”i Because glyphosate exposure builds over time, causing inflammation that disturbs cellular systems, the consequences of the long-used herbicide are becoming more and more evident. In addition to associations with ASD, ADHD, and gastrointestinal disorders, Roundup® was found to influence Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

Though herbicides and pesticides are overwhelmingly used in today’s commercial agricultural processes, there are plenty of resources to help parents steer clear of these dangerous substances.

Eating organic can be costly, but you can prioritize! The Environmental Working Group produces a yearly Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, listing the “dirty dozen” fruit and vegetables you should buy organic and the “clean fifteen” that are relatively safe regardless.

Unfortunately, the “Dirty Dozen” has grown to the “Dirty Dozen Plus”

Safer Snacks:  (EWG’s Clean Fifteen)

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Sweet potatoes

When To Splurge For Organic:  (EWG’s Dirty Dozen Plus)

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Summer Squash

[i] Samsel, A.; Seneff, S. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy 201315, 1416-1463.

Reed, Genna. “Study Links Monstanto’s RoundUp To Autism, Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s.” Prison Planetcom Study Links Monstantos RoundUp To Autism Parkinsons And Alzheimers Comments. N.p., 6 May 2013. Web. 09 May 2013. <http://www.prisonplanet.com/study-links-monstantos-roundup-to-autism-parkinsons-and-alzheimers.html>.

Air Pollution Affects Autism: Solutions & Success Stories

A new research study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives this March found a direct correlation between Autism Spectrum Disorders and exposure to air pollution, particularly from traffic. Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology of University of California, Los Angeles, and the Department of Preventive Medicine of University of Southern California, estimated exposure to toxins for a controlled population of children diagnosed with ASD between 3-5 years of age, born in Los Angeles. The study utilized data from air monitoring stations and a land use regression (LUR) model to identify each specific child’s exposure rate. The findings suggest a 12-15% increase in risk for autism when exposed to ozone and 3-9% increase when exposed nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide.[i] A mother and, now, clean air activist, shares the story of her son’s autism diagnosis and recovery. Bridget James was concerned about the poor air quality surrounding her home in Utah before becoming pregnant, but was relieved when her son, Park, demonstrated a pretty strong immune system in his first couple years. It was not until Park was diagnosed autistic at 2-years-of-age that Bridget’s suspicions were confirmed. However, the diagnosis did not last. Bridget, having worked with autistic youth prior to becoming a mother, new the signs and symptoms of autism and took a proactive approach. She researched toxic exposure and took every possible precaution to relieve and prevent pollutants for Park. She altered his diet, administered heavy metal detoxes, and tried her best to protect him from the harsh Utah air. Soon, Park was making eye contact with Bridget again. He began to socialize and had a greater attention span. Bridget describes her son’s changes as “coming back”[ii] to her. While researchers believe there are a variety of causes for Autism Spectrum Disorders, the study ‘Ambient Air Pollution and Autism in Los Angeles County, California’ provides further evidence of environmental contributions to the onset of ASD. Bridget and Park’s story is hopeful, perhaps for prevention, but certainly for the easing of symptoms associated with ASD.  To read me about Bridget’s detoxing strategies and success, click here. For the full report of research findings, click here.



[i] Becerra, Tracy A., Michelle Wilhelm, Jørn Olsen, Myles Cockburn, and Beate Ritz. “Ambient Air Pollution and Autism in Los Angeles County, California.”Environmental Health Perspective 121.3 (2013): 380-86. Mar. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/pdf-files/2013/Mar/ehp.1205827_508.pdf>.


[ii] James, Bridget. “Autism, Air Pollution, And My Son.” Care2. N.p., 20 Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://www.care2.com/greenliving/autism-air-pollution-and-my-son.html>.


Dietary Changes To Alleviate Asperger’s Symptoms

Dietary changes can help children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome according to Craig Kendall, author of The Asperger’s Syndrome Survival Guide. Gluten and casein free diets help overcome Asperger’s syndrome symptoms improving behavior in children. Continue reading

Gluten-free Casein-free Diet Improves Symptoms of Autism

Gluten-free Casein-free Diet Improves Symptoms of AutismScientists at Penn State have found that a gluten-free and casein-free diet could improve the behavior and psychological symptoms of some children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Gluten and casein are two of the most common “diet offenders.” Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of several grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. Casein is a protein found in dairy products and other foods containing dairy or lactose. Continue reading