Two little sisters drinking morning glasses of milk with added probiotics for Autism spectrum disorder at a flour-covered kitchen table.

If anyone knows a thing or two about the connection between nutritional needs and developing brains in children, it’s us. As you may know, Simple Spectrum Supplement was created to address dietary deficiencies and bridge any nutritional gaps that are commonly associated with picky eating habits in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

Studies have shown the connection between Autism and nutritional deficiencies, which is why dietary changes or supplements have the potential to improve symptoms associated with ASD, such as speech or eating/sleeping habits. As a result of these findings, more recent studies would focus more on the connection between the brain and gut health to determine the role this connection might have on individuals with Autism. 

So let’s talk about all things gut health and why researchers are finding evidence that supports the idea that probiotics for Autism may be another missing piece to the puzzle.

What are Probiotics?

There may be a negative connotation associated with the term when you hear the word bacteria, but “bad” bacteria is only half of all bacteria. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria within your body that help improve things like digestion, gastrointestinal issues, and immune health. They are living microorganisms that exist to help bring balance and function to your overall gut health. If you want to explain probiotics to your kids, try calling it the friendly bacteria, which it is also referred to as. 

Suppose you want to naturally increase the amount of good bacteria in your child’s body. In that case, you can try increasing the number of fermented foods that are included in their diets, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, or kimchi. But if you are a parent of a child with ASD, you know that may be easier said than done if your child has picky eating habits. If this is the case, then probiotic supplements may be the best option. 

Probiotics and Gut Health

So how do probiotics support overall gut health? The “good” bacteria actually work to replenish or rebuild the microbiome for a healthier gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics make a healthier gut which, in turn, creates an overall healthier individual. Many people are surprised to learn the role that gut health plays in a number of bodily functions. The gut is connected to the brain via nerves and messengers such as neurotransmitters and hormones. If there is an imbalance in the gut, it is referred to as dysbiosis.

Probiotics for Autism

Recent studies have indicated that there is a clear link between microbes in the gut and Autism. 

In fact, one of the main goals of probiotics or probiotic supplements is to establish and maintain healthy gut functions. A growing amount of evidence indicates that the gut microbiota present in children with ASD is altered with various shifts described at different taxonomic levels, pointing to the significance of considering the gut-brain axis in treating these disorders. Researchers say the gut-brain axis (GBA) acts as a bidirectional means of communication between the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system. In other words, this means that the brain can send messages to the gut and the gut can send messages to the brain, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. Gut health can have an effect on cognition, behavior, and mood and vice versa. 

This leads researchers to believe that when probiotics are added to your child’s diet, parents may notice a significant change in behavior such as speech, sleep, and overall social interactions that may be caused by nutritional deficiencies or poor gut health. Dietary changes or intervention in general may help positively affect your child’s ASD symptoms. This is why parents love Simple Spectrum Supplements and the positive effects that it has had on their families. One of the key ingredients in our formula is Larch Arabinogalactan, a prebiotic that supports healthy gut bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics have different roles but they work together to support overall gut health; probiotics are the good bacteria that feed off the non-digestible fiber of prebiotics. 

Understanding the link between Autism and gut health is highly beneficial for parents and children with ASD. The connection continues to be studied and researched as we learn more about Autism and the possible causes. Probiotics are a safe and effective tool to support your overall gut health; they are a part of a well-balanced diet.

For parents of children with Autism, you know that having the resources and tools for your child is essential. Probiotics are another helpful tool for your child and may improve ASD symptoms like speech or eating habits. But like with anything related to Autism, there is no correct answer, in this case we just have to trust our gut. We are all in this together, so let’s continue to educate ourselves so that we can give our little ones the happy and healthy upbringing that they deserve.